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Decision Soon On Visa For Chinese Activist, Key Says

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
John Key
John Key

Wellington, Oct 5 NZPA - A decision will be made within the next few days on whether a visa will be issued to Chinese human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, Prime Minister John Key said today.

Green Party MP Keith Locke has already announced he will host Ms Kadeer in New Zealand from October 12 to 15, when she will speak at two public meetings, visit Parliament and meet MPs.

She is from Xinjiang, a mainly Muslim province of 20 million Uighur people in western China.

Ms Kadeer was jailed for six years for speaking out on what she saw as human rights violations and discrimination against the Uighur.

Released after an international outcry, she now promoted the Uighur case from her base in the United States.

The Chinese government put pressure on the Australian and Taiwanese governments not to grant her a visa.

Australia let her in to speak at the Melbourne film festival launch of a documentary based on her life, but Taiwan did not.

Mr Key said he had not been advised of any request from the Chinese government to stop New Zealand issuing a visa.

The visa decision would be made by Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman, he said.

China-based hackers launched cyber attacks on the Melbourne film festival's website because it was showing the documentary, which was broadcast in New Zealand by the Maori Television Service.

Mr Locke said there was no reason why Ms Kadeer should not be given a visa.

"Her life is an open book. She advocates non-violent change and disassociates herself from violent change," he said.

"I think there would be quite an outcry from New Zealanders if she wasn't given a visa."

Mr Locke said Ms Kadeer applied for the visa two weeks ago.

"I will be contacting the Government to make sure it comes through in time."

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