The International Union of Muslim Scholars has criticized a fasting ban in China's mainly Muslim Xinjiang autonomous region.
The Chinese government banned last week civil servants, students and teachers in Xinjiang from fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
In a statement on Thursday, the Union urged China to respect Muslim's freedom of religion, saying that the ban goes against both the Chinese law and international law.
The statement described China's policies in Xinjiang as "acts of religious and ethnic persecution", calling on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and international organizations to take necessary steps to protect Muslims.
In July 2014, the government issued warnings to employees and students not to fast during the holy month of Ramadan. It also restricted men from having long beards, clamped down on religious education activities, and acted to control the entrances and exits to mosques. In January 2015, the ban extended to wearing burqas in public places.
Uighur, a Turkic group that makes up around 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang, has accused China of carrying out repressive policies that restrain their religious, commercial and cultural activities.