East Turkestan: China Pressures Taiwan into Preventing Uyghur Leader’s Visit
Picture Credit: Radio Free Asia
Mr Dolkun Isa, Executive Chairman of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) and member of UNPO’s Presidency, has been prevented from attending the Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum (a human rights conference), allegedly due to pressure from Chinese authorities. It is believed that the ban on Mr Isa’s entry is the result of previous false claims made against him by nationalist Kuomintang Party, which has been in power since 2008. Whilst it is disappointing that Taiwan should be so influenced by China, it is hoped that friendly relations with the WUC will be restored following the change in government to the Democratic Progressive Party in May this year .
Below is a statement published by the World Uyghur Congress:
The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is disappointed to learn that Dolkun Isa, executive Chairman of the (WUC) will not be able to attend a human rights conference, the Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum, that will be held in Taiwan from February 18 – 21, 20016, on account of probable pressure from Chinese authorities. It is a true shame that a democratic country such as Taiwan should be so influenced by the will of the Chinese government. China has consistently maintained that human rights defenders – and those supporting the Uyghur community in particular – should be treated like criminals.
Mr. Dolkun Isa visited the country back in 2006 to take part in an Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) event that was held there and encountered no obstacles at the time. It was not until 2009, after the nationalist Kuomintang Party regained control of government, that there were false reports that Mr. Isa had entered the country along with 11 other Uyghurs ahead of the World Games and would pose a security threat. The National Immigration Authority then responded to the false claims by issuing a ban on his travel to the country.
After requesting updated information on Mr. Isa’s current status from Taiwanese authorities, a strongly worded statement pointed out that they were under no obligation to disclose the reasons for the decision of his non-entry and would not allow for further discussion. We hope that following the change in government to the Democratic Progressive Party in May, we will be able to restore friendly relations with the country.
Statement by Dilxat Raxit
Spokesman of the World Uyghur Congress