Sat, Feb 13, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Freddie Lim invites Kadeer to visit for movie's DVD launch

STAFF WRITER, WITH AFP

A pro-independence group said yesterday it had invited Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer to visit Taiwan after a previous trip was banned by the government because of concerns that it would provoke Beijing.

Freddy Lim (林昶佐), head of Guts United Taiwan, extended the invitation when he met Kadeer in Washington on Wednesday, the group said in a statement.

“Kadeer wished very much to visit Taiwan for the release of the DVD of the Chinese version of [a documentary on Kadeer] The 10 Conditions of Love in Taiwan” next month, it said.

Last September, Kadeer’s biopic was screened around the country, including at a film festival in Kaohsiung, which prompted Chinese tourists to begin a boycott of the city. Later the same month, Lim met with Kadeer at her Washington office and invited her to visit Taiwan.

“I would love to visit Taiwan, but I have not even applied for a visa yet. I want to tell Taiwanese about our struggle and about the plight of the Uighur people. I hope they will let me visit so that I can tell this human rights story,” Kadeer said at the time.

The government, however, denied Kadeer entry to Taiwan on the grounds that her visit would harm the national interest.

At the time, Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said Kadeer, president of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), should not be allowed into the country since she had “close relations to a terrorist group.”

Kadeer had voiced deep disappointment at the ban and rejected the claims of links to terrorist groups, while the opposition berated the government for blocking her visit to please Beijing.

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