Kadeer lambasts Chinese govt for torturing her children


Kadeer said her daughter Roxingul and jailed son Alim had taken part "against their will" in the CCTV news report, in which they said she incited last month's violence in the Xinjiang region which left at least 197 dead.

"What the Chinese government did was probably one of the worst kinds of violence, I would say, against my children to force them to speak up against me," Kadeer, speaking through a translator, told journalists in Melbourne.

"I believe it's against their conscience, against their will, to force them to say the things against me, and I believe it's a form of dictatorship imposed upon them by the government," she added.

Roxingul, Alim and Kadeer's brother Memet denounced the 62-year-old US-based Uighur leader in a report aired on Tuesday, saying she had whipped up China's worst ethnic violence in decades -- a claim also made by Beijing.

"What my mother has done has no result. Separatists cannot separate such a great nation, neither can she," Alim said from prison, where he is serving a sentence for tax evasion.

Roxingul, Memet and Khahar, another of Kadeer's sons, had earlier written letters widely circulated in the Chinese press denouncing her over the unrest in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese.

"It's hard for me to imagine what kind of psychological torture they are going through at the moment," Kadeer said.

"When I was in prison I was also forced to say things against my will by the Chinese government on a videotape and (it was) posted on a website, so it's no surprise to me," she added.

The mother of 11 was once a successful businesswoman in Xinjiang but spent six years in a Chinese jail and has become a standard-bearer for the Uighur movement since her release in 2005.

Her visit to Australia sparked strong protests from Beijing, which calls her a "criminal" and summoned Canberra's ambassador to complain.

Kadeer is due to attend Saturday's premiere of the documentary about her life, "10 Conditions of Love," which China tried to have withdrawn from the ongoing Melbourne International Film Festival.

"It's just like the Olympics and China -- it was just an international sporting event but the Chinese government turned that into a political event," said Kadeer, adding she was "shocked" by Beijing's reaction.

"It's the same thing I see with the film festival: initially it's just a film festival but with the Chinese pressure it became politicised."

Kadeer caused a furore in Japan last week -- a visit which was also strenuously opposed by China -- when she suggested 10,000 people "disappeared" during the Xinjiang unrest.

"I am only peacefully advocating rights and justice and freedom for my people, but it's been witnessed that the Chinese government put enormous pressure on Japan during my recent visit, and also put enormous pressure on Turkey, now Australia," she said.

"The Chinese have also pressured the US government to prevent my activities. I believe the Chinese government is basically trying to impose its authoritarianism on the whole world because of me."

Uighurs, a mainly Muslim minority, in Xinjiang claim they have suffered political and religious persecution since Chinese troops "peacefully liberated" the vast region 60 years ago.

 

 

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