Wednesday, July 15, 2009

China tries to bar documentary in Australia

The Chinese Government doesn't necessarily have the best "free speech" record in the world, and earlier today it's understandable as to why.  Reports have popped up that the Chinese consulate in Australia demanded the Melbourne Film Festival withdraw the documentary The 10 Conditions of Love or justify its inclusion.  Festival director Richard Moore flatly refused to either demand and has not been shy to talk to the press about the incident.

The 10 Conditions of Love follows exiled Uighur businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer- highlighting her relationship with activist husband Sidik Rouzi and her desire to gain greater independence for China's 10-million Muslim Uighur population.   Kadeer doesn't exactly have the best history with the Chinese government.  She was arrested back in 1999 for "providing secret information to foreigners" and three of her eleven children have since been imprisoned.  The government most recently accuses her group, the World Uighur Congress, as being a front for extremist militants and for instigating this month's ethnic riots in China that have claimed close to 200 lives.

Obviously, the Chinese Government doesn't want Kadeer to garner supporters around the world, but with the Melbourne Film Festival refusing to pull the documentary, it's clear all they are doing now is providing free marketing for a once relatively obscure movie.  This battle is certainly not over so we will definitely monitor the situation leading up the Festival in early August.

For more information, check out the full article at

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