1 Aug 2009

China protests Uigher leader's Australia visit

9:55 pm on 1 August 2009

China has summoned the Australian ambassador to protest against a visit to Australia by the exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

The offical Chinese news agency says Beijing told the ambassador Australia must not allow Ms Kadeer to engage in any "anti-Chinese separatist" activities during her visit.

Ms Kadeer, who lives in the United States, has been issued a visa to visit Melbourne next week, where she plans to launch a documentary about her life at a film festival.

China has tried to have the film withdrawn.

China accuses the World Uighur Congress of masterminding riots in Xinjiang that left at least 197 people dead and 1600 others injured.

Meanwhile, the festival organisers say a cyber attack emanating from China has shut down bookings for the second time.

A spokesperson says a website giving instructions on how to attack the festival's website appears to have been set up by a group of Chinese citizens, not by the government.