Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rebiya Kadeer

From the Seattle Times:
An exiled Uighur activist whom Beijing blames for recent deadly riots in China said Saturday that she is a "woman of peace," as she attended an Australian film festival for the screening of a documentary about her life.

Rebiya Kadeer, a U.S.-based activist who has denied instigating last month's ethnic violence in western Xinjiang province, was escorted into the sold-out screening of "10 Conditions of Love" at the Melbourne International Film Festival through a back entrance as a small group of protesters demonstrated nearby.

China requested that Australia deny Kadeer a visa and asked the festival to drop her movie from the program. Seven Chinese-language films were withdrawn from the festival in protest.

China says the clashes last month between minority Muslim Uighurs and members of the dominant Han Chinese group left 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured. Beijing blames Kadeer, 62, for instigating the unrest, a charge she denies.

The rioting in Xinjiang province's capital of Urumqi was the worst ethnic violence in China in decades.

The documentary's director, Australian Jeff Daniels, said the screening of the film was a victory for freedom of expression.

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