Aug 13, 2009

East Turkestan: Documentary Screened on Maori Television

Active ImageMaori Television confirms that it will screen the documentary about Rebiya Kadeer 'The 10 Conditions of Love' on Tuesday September 1, 2009.



Below is an article published by Voxy News:

The documentary is the story of exiled Uyghur leader, Rebiya Kadeer. The Uyghur are a Muslim minority with their ancestral home in China's Xinjiang Province, which they refer to as East Turkestan. The documentary deals with the personal challenges faced by Ms Kadeer as an activist and human rights advocate now based in the USA, and the ways in which her campaigning has impacted upon her family. Ms Kadeer has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.

China has denounced Ms Kadeer as a terrorist and has accused her of helping to orchestrate recent violence in the Xinjiang region between Muslim Uyghurs and members of the Chinese Han community. This is an accusation Ms Kadeer denies.

The documentary recently featured in the Melbourne International Film Festival. Chinese authorities are reported to have officially protested to the Australian Government and called for the documentary's withdrawal from the festival.

Maori Television met with officials from the Chinese Embassy in Auckland today (August 12). The meeting was requested by the Embassy who wished to have an opportunity to express their stance on the issue, following news that Maori Television planned to screen the documentary.

Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather said the meeting was amicable and respectful. The officials, led by Deputy Head of Mission Mr Zhou Heng, requested that Maori Television cancel plans to broadcast the documentary, alleging that Ms Kadeer was linked to terrorist groups and that the content of the film distorted the facts about China's policies regarding treatment of ethnic minorities.

Mr Mather said Maori Television's decision to broadcast the documentary would stand.

Maori Television invited the Chinese to appear on current affairs programme, Native Affairs, to publicly state their position. The invitation was declined.

"Maori Television strongly believes in the fundamental right for all people to freedom of speech," said Mr Mather. "We will at all times protect Maori Television's right, free from political and/or editorial interference, to broadcast the stories of indigenous people both from New Zealand and throughout the world."

Maori Television has been broadcasting international indigenous documentaries and film since launching in 2004. These programmes are purchased based on their relevance and interest as indigenous stories to Maori and non-Maori New Zealanders. Many of these programmes document the experiences of indigenous peoples as a consequence of colonialism and, in some cases, oppression. All such programmes broadcast on Maori Television are required to adhere to Broadcasting Standards Authority criteria.