Jan 17, 2007

East Turkestan: Kadeer Interviewed by VOA

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the Uyghur people, was interviewed by Voice of America (VOA) Chinese Service in a live program addressing the relations between China, Ms. Kadeer and the Uyghur people.

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the Uyghur people and president of World Uyghur Congress, was interviewed by Voice of America (VOA) Chinese Service in its program “Issues and Opinion” on 10 January 2007. The live program, which is directly broadcast to China via satellite, addressed China’s recent raid on so-called Uyghur terrorists and the Chinese allegations of Ms. Kadeer working with "terrorists". Mr. Alim Seytoff, the executive chairman for the World Uyghur Congress, acted as a Uyghur-Chinese translator during the interview.

Ms. Kadeer objectively commented on the Chinese raid and expressed her doubts about so-called Uyghur terrorism. When asked about the goals of the World Uyghur Congress, she said the goals were to peacefully strive for human rights, democracy and religious freedom for the Uyghur people. Furthermore, she eloquently answered the questions of Chinese callers who called the program’s hotline. This was Ms. Kadeer's first appearance on the show. 

Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent businesswomen and political activist, has relentlessly worked to draw attention to the suffering of the Uyghur population in China’s north-western province, East Turkestan (aka Xinjiang). In 1999 Kadeer was imprisoned by the Chinese authorities for allegedly transmitting “secret information,” in the form of clippings from publicly available newspapers, to her husband exiled in the United States. Due to intense international pressure she was released in 2005. For her untiring efforts to address the human rights violations common to East Turkestan, she has received the prestigious Rafto Prize for Human Rights and was nominated in 2006 for the Nobel Peace Prize.