Mesut Ozil: Amnesty International urges Arsenal not to ‘buckle under pressure’ from China

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Amnesty International asks Arsenal to support Ozil and allow him “to freely express his opinions”

Mesut Ozil: Amnesty International urges Arsenal not to 'buckle under pressure' from China
Mesut Ozil posted comments on social media on Friday

Amnesty International regional director Nicholas Bequelin says Arsenal must not “buckle under pressure” from China and stifle Mesut Ozil’s right to free speech.

Ozil, who is a Muslim of Turkish descent, posted on social media about the alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in China, calling them “warriors who resist persecution”.

The midfielder’s remarks led to reports that their match against Manchester City was dropped from Chinese state television schedules, while China’s foreign ministry spokesman said Ozil had been deceived by “fake news”.

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Arsenal's game against Manchester City was reportedly dropped from Chinese state television schedules
Arsenal’s game against Manchester City was reportedly dropped from Chinese state television schedules

Bequelin says it is essential Arsenal do not succumb to any potential pressure placed on them.

“With their player being quite heavily criticised by some in China, it’s important that Arsenal doesn’t buckle under pressure and attempt to stifle Ozil’s right to freely express his opinions.”

Ozil was visibly frustrated after being substituted off in Arsenal's 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester City
Ozil was visibly frustrated after being substituted off in Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat at home to Manchester City

Arsenal distanced themselves from Ozil’s views, sharing a statement on Weibo that said it was “entirely his personal opinion”, and that the club does not involve itself in politics. more news

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