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Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer denied entry visa to Taiwan

Premier Wu Den-yih said yesterday Rebiya Kadeer, president of the World Uighur Congress, cannot come to Taiwan in December.

Asked whether the Ministry of the Interior may reconsider its decision not to give Rebiya an entry visa, Premier Wu said there is no reason for explaining in detail why the Uighur independence advocate is not welcome to Taiwan.

“The decision of the Ministry of the Interior is final,” Premier Wu told the press. “I fully support that decision,” he pointed out.

Earlier on the floor of the Legislative Yuan, Chiang Yi-hua, minister of the interior, said Rebiya's organization maintains close relations with the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, which is declared a terrorist group by the United States and the United Nations.

Her secretary-general, Chiang told lawmakers, is wanted by the Interpol. “For the national security of the country, we forbid Rebiya Kadeer to enter Taiwan,” he said.

He gave the answer to Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers who asked the government to grant Rebiya an entry visa so that she may come in December to tell the people in Taiwan her Uighurs are not extremists, radicals or terrorists.

She was invited by Freddy Lim, lead vocalist for the Taiwanese black metal band Chthonic and founder of the pro-independence organization Guts United, Taiwan. Three other pro-independence joined in extending the invitation, which was gladly accepted by Rebiya.

They were the Dr. Chen Wen-cheng Memorial Foundation, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights and the Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps.

The invitation is a follow-up to a two-day screening of Rebiya's biopic The 10 Conditions of Love in Kaohsiung ahead of a film festival scheduled for October 16-29.

Mayor Chen Chu of Kaohsiung had to move the showing up in the face of angry hoteliers who have seen all Chinese tourist bookings canceled. Beijing ordered Chinese tourists to skip visiting Kaohsiung in order to compel Chen to cancel the screening of The 10 Conditions of Love.

China considers Rebiya a separatist and protests strenously whenever she ventures out of her exile in the United States to promote the Uighur independence cause.

DPP leaders were attempting to help Chen save face by showing documentaries in Taiwan about human rights movements in Xinjiang and Tibet. They had decided to invite the personalities featured in the documentaries; one of them being The 10 Conditions of Love.

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 Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer denied entry visa to Taiwan 
Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah, center, is seen having a discussion with Premier Wu Den-yih, right, and a lawmaker at the Legislative Yuan yesterday. Jiang recommended that Taiwan not permit Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer to visit, a position that was supported by the premier. (CNA)

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