For immediate release
July 27, 2009, 5:00 pm EST
Contact: Uyghur American Association +1 (202) 349 1496
Recent media reports, citing an article from India’s Telegraph newspaper, claim that Uyghur democracy leader Rebiya Kadeer has been “denied a visa” to visit India, reportedly due to pressure from the Chinese government. However, Ms. Kadeer did not apply for a visa to India.
It is unclear where this misinformation originated, or what motivations may lie behind it.
The Chinese government has harshly criticized the government of Japan for allowing Ms. Kadeer’s forthcoming visit. The Chinese ambassador to Japan accused Ms. Kadeer of having “masterminded” deadly violence in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkestan.
The Chinese government frequently pressures foreign governments to deny visas to Ms. Kadeer to visit their countries.
Chinese officials also frequently condemn international trips by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese government blames for instigating deadly ethnic violence in Tibet in March 2008.
The Uyghur and Tibetan populations experience similar human rights abuses under Chinese government policies targeted at “ethnic minorities”, including religious repression, cultural eradication, imprisonment, and widespread torture.