Arsene Wenger sends support to Arsenal star Mesut Ozil amid China backlash

Mesut Ozil is hugged by Arsene Wenger after an Arsenal game
Wenger coached Ozil at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Arsene Wenger has backed Mesut Ozil’s freedom of speech after the Arsenal drew the fury of China.

Ozil’s Instagram post about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China has sparked a debate about human rights, as reports claim China has detained as many as one million people, mainly Muslims, over the course of several years in what are being branded as prison camps.

China reacted furiously to the comments, pulling Arsenal’s game against Manchester City from TV coverage and performing a deep cleanse of Ozil’s internet footprint in the country.

Arsenal released a statement distancing themselves from Ozil’s call to action and Wenger has defended the German’s right to speak out.

‘What he says is about himself and not Arsenal,’ said Wenger.

‘Mesut Ozil has freedom of speech like everyone else and he uses his notoriety to express his opinions, which are not necessarily shared by everybody.

‘What’s important is that Ozil has an individual responsibility. He doesn’t have to carry the word of Arsenal Football Club.

‘When you make a comment about your individual opinion you accept the consequences of it.’

China have threatened further action against Arsenal. Ozil is a Muslim and compelled others to speak out on the human rights violations in China.

‘East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion,’ Ozil said in a statement.

‘They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools.

Mesut Ozil says a prayer before an Arsenal game
Ozil is a Muslim (Picture: Getty)

‘They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men.

‘The women are forced to marry Chinese men. But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise.

‘They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?’

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