Trump meets up with Uygurs

World | REUTERS 19 Jul 2019

US President Donald Trump, who has made religious freedom a centerpiece of his foreign policy, met on Wednesday with victims of religious persecution from countries like China, Turkey, North Korea, Iran and Myanmar.

Trump counts evangelical Christians among his core supporters and the State Department is hosting a conference on the topic this week that will be attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Four of the 27 participants in the Oval Office meeting were from China, the White House said: Jewher Ilham, a Uygur Muslim; Yuhua Zhang, a Falun Gong practitioner; Nyima Lhamo, a Tibetan Buddhist; and Manping Ouyang, a Christian.

Ilham told Trump her father was one of many Uygurs "locked up in concentration camps" in the Xinjiang region and that she had not spoken with him since 2017.

The Trump administration has been weighing sanctions against Chinese officials over the treatment of the Uygurs.

Nearly two dozen nations at the UN Human Rights Council this week urged China to halt persecution of ethnic Uygurs in Xinjiang.

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