Muslim groups call for Hilton boycott over project in China

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Muslim civil rights group is calling for a boycott of Hilton hotels over what it says are plans to build a hotel on the site of a bulldozed Uyghur mosque in China.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations and other organizations held a news conference Thursday outside the Capital Hilton in Washington announcing the boycott campaign.

China has faced international condemnation over persecution of the Muslim Uyghur population in China’s Xinjiang province. Critics say the campaign amounts to cultural genocide, including the detention of Uyghurs in “re-education camps” and the destruction of mosques and other cultural sites.

In July, the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China also called on Hilton to halt the project, which calls for construction of a Hampton Inn.

A spokesperson for McLean, Virginia-based Hilton provided a statement Thursday saying the corporation’s franchise model “limits Hilton’s involvement in the development and management of properties. … However, we can confirm that in 2019 an independent Chinese ownership group purchased a vacant lot through public auction, with plans for commercial development, including a hotel. Hilton was not involved in the site selection.”

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