Minister promises to work with China to help reunite Uyghur families

Almas Nizamidin, former Socceroos captain Craig Foster and Sadam Abudusalamu. Photo: Twitter/Craig Foster

4:25pm, Jul 24, 2019

The Morrison government will work with China to provide consular assistance to Uyghur citizens and other Muslim minorities with Australian connections.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne on Wednesday shut down Greens leader Richard Di Natale’s request for the government to impose targeted sanctions, such as visa bans and asset freezes, against those linked to abuses in China’s Xinjiang province.

“We seek the support of the government in China … for an opportunity to visit the region and to enable others to visit the region, which they have indicated in the past there is some preparedness to do,” Senator Payne said.

It has inquired with Chinese authorities about Australian citizens and permanent residents who may be in Xinjiang, upon request from family members in Australia.

The response comes as the government faces mounting calls to help Australian citizens Sadam Abudusalamu and Almas Nizamadin reunite with loved ones from China after years of separation due to the crackdown on Uyghurs.