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Home The News News New Zealand politician invites Kadeer to visit

New Zealand politician invites Kadeer to visit

Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer has been invited to speak in New Zealand next week and the government will decide within days whether to issue her a visa, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said yesterday. Taiwanese officials last month banned Kadeer, who Beijing accuses of leading a separatist terrorist movement, from visiting and China objected to her visit to Australia in August.

Key said he was not aware of any request from the Chinese government to prevent the visit.

New Zealand’s Green Party foreign affairs spokesman Keith Locke said he would host Kadeer from next Monday to Thursday, when she would speak at two public meetings and meet legislators.

“She advocates non-violent change and disassociates herself from violent change,” he said. “I think there would be quite an outcry from New Zealanders if she wasn’t given a visa.”

Beijing calls Kadeer’s World Uyghur Congress a terrorist movement and accuses the group of directing July’s unrest in Urumqi, which left at least 197 people dead.

Key told a news conference that Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman would decide whether to grant a visa allowing her to talk to two public meetings within the next few days.

Beijing objected when Kadeer, who has lived in exile in the US since being freed from a Chinese prison in 2005, visited Australia in August, but Locke told the New Zealand Herald he did not envisage any problems in her being allowed into New Zealand.

“It is wrong to allow the Chinese, or any government, to tell us who we can or cannot let speak in our country,” he said.

Source: Taipei Times 2009/10/06



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