View Full Version : Australia defends Uighur leader's visit

07-08-09, 13:13
Australia defends Uighur leader's visit

Australia has defended the visit of exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, after she accused Beijing of "heinous" crimes during a protest outside Melbourne's Chinese consulate. Ms Kadeer, whose trip to Australia has been strongly opposed by China, told about 100 flag-waving demonstrators that Beijing had about lied last month's deadly violence in the Xinjiang region. "In order to cover up their heinous crime, in order to divert attention and point the finger to others, the Chinese government accused me and the World Uighur Congress for allegedly instigating the so-called unrest," said Ms Kadeer. The Australian foreign minister, Stephen Smith, said the government had seen no reason to deny Ms Kadeer a visa despite protests from Beijing, which summoned Australia's ambassador to complain. "I've made the point myself to Chinese authorities that just because we allow someone to come to Australia to visit, doesn't mean that we agree with all or any of the views that person espouses or articulates," Mr Smith said.

07-08-09, 13:19