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Uyghur dissident's daughter visits Taiwan

2010/07/18 20:01:41

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) The daughter of Rebiya Kadeer, president ofthe World Uyghur Congress, said in Taipei Sunday that she is visitingTaiwan to thank Taiwan's people for their support of theorganization's cause on behalf of her mother.

Raela Tosh told a news conference that her mother, who was barredfrom visiting Taiwan for three years last year, believes she will beallowed to visit Taiwan some day because it is a free country.

Noting that the Dalai Lama -- the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader-- has been allowed to visit Taiwan on several occasions, Tosh saidher mother believes Taiwan's government will eventually grant her avisa, too.

Moreover, Tosh said, her mother has already sensed the Taiwanesepeople's passionate support for her cause based on their warmresponse to the documentary "10 Conditions of Love, " which tellsKadeer's story and chronicles China's human rights abuses inXinjiang.

The showing of the controversial documentary in the southernTaiwan port city of Kaohsiung last year triggered strong oppositionfrom Beijing, which has branded Kadeer a terrorist.

Amid misgivings that pro-independence activists in China'sXinjiang autonomous region and Taiwan might link up and fears ofupsetting improving relations with China, Taiwan's government imposeda three-year ban on visits by Kadeer last year.

During her current visit, Tosh said she will help Taiwanesepeople understand that the seemingly peaceful scenes seen in Xinjiangare false. "Many true scenarios have been shielded or hidden away, "she said.

With relations across the Taiwan Strait becoming closer andfriendlier, Raela said China should learn from Taiwan in implementingdemocracy and protecting human rights. Taiwan should also notbackpedal to its authoritarian past simply to appease China, sheargued.

Raela is visiting Taiwan at the invitation of Gueh Tsiam Hue -- agroup formerly known as Fight Club and founded by Freddy Lim, leadsinger of Taiwan's death metal rock band Chthonic.

The club said it had extended an invitation to Kadeer to visitTaiwan to mark the first anniversary of China's violent crackdown onUyghur activists last July. However, Taiwan's government only granteda visa to her daughter.

During her July 18-20 visit, Raela will attend seminars in Taipeiand Kaohsiung. She will meet also local human rights organizations.

Responding to criticism that the government has barred Kadeer'svisit simply for fear of offending China, Premier Wu Den-yih said theMinistry of the Interior issued the entry ban due to the need toprotect the country's national security and interests.

As a sovereign state, Wu said, Taiwan is entitled to control itsborders based on the principles of national security and mutual trustamong countries around the world.

"I fully support the MOI's border control measures which are notuncommon in the international community, " he said. "Some countriesthat I intended to visit in the past rejected my visa application forcertain reasons."

(By Lee Ming-chung, Wang Shu-fen and Sofia Wu)