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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Prominent media figure Al Kuwari calls on Huawei to clarify Uighur surveillance accusations


Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari says he’s reached out to the tech-giant, who he’s an ambassador for, requesting an official statement responding to recent accusations that it’s been helping monitor and track China’s oppressed Uighur minority.

Prominent sports media presenter and Qatar 2022 ambassador Mohammed Saadon Al Kuwari has issued a statement on the latest accusations regarding Huawei’s surveillance of Uighurs. 

“I have reached out to the company for more clarification on the matter and I expressed to them that I want an official and a clear response so that I may be able to clarify to my audience what my stance will be” Al Kuwari said in a statement he issued on all his social media platforms. 

The Chinese tech company Huawei has reportedly tested facial recognition software that triggered alerts whenever the technology detected Uighur Muslims, according to an internal document obtained by researcher IPVM, The Washington Post reported.

China’s Foreign Ministry denied the report, calling it, “pure slander” in a fax to CNBC, euronews reported. 

The latest reports sparked an international backlash, accusing the company of helping the Chinese government track and target the Uighur minority in the country which has been persecuted for years. Millions of Uighur Muslims have been forcibly transferred into what human rights groups have described as concentration labour camps. China calls them behavioural education centres. But the reality is that those imprisoned in them are forced to shed their faith, accept the government’s enforced ideology and produce and manufacture products that are then sold around the world. 

Read also: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expected to arrive in Doha on Sunday.

Al Kuwari, who is a Huawei brand ambassador, said he had reached out to the company following several messages from his friends and supporters regarding the accusations that Huawei was enabling and assisting in the oppression of Uighurs. He said the company responded to his request promising to provide him with a written statement by Sunday. 

“My firm support for all Muslim causes should be clear to everyone. I’m clarifying that I will support any position that supports Islam and its community no matter what the financial or personal costs are,” Al Kawari wrote. 

Al Kuwari’s move comes after French football superstar, Antoine Griezman, announced he is immediately severing ties and terminating his contract with the Chinese telecom giant after representing the brand for more than four years. 

This is not the first time the Qatari media presenter is seen to put human rights principles above financial gain. 

In 2019,  Al Kuwari also terminated his contract with Puma, a German multinational corporation that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, which he announced through a social media post. 

Though he did not clarify the reason, his move came shortly after Puma announced its

exclusive licensee with Israel’s Delta Galil Industries, which has branches in illegal settlements built on stolen and occupied Palestinian land. 



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