Chinese consular staff pressed organizers of the Melbourne International Film Festival to drop a film about the life of Rebiya Kadeer, president of the World Uighur Congress, Reuters reported. Beijing has blamed Kadeer for organizing the recent ethnic riots in Xinjiang and has charged her with financial fraud and terrorism. According to an interview on Radio Australia with festival director Richard Moore, a Ms Chen of the Chinese consulate in Melbourne contacted him and "stridently" demanded that he withdraw the film and justify his decision to show it. "When I told Ms Chen that I in no way needed to justify our actions, that we’re an independent arts organization and we don’t operate like in China, she wasn’t very happy," he said. Chen was even more displeased that Kadeer has been invited to attend the festival as a guest of the filmmaker, he said. Moore said he has no plans to drop the film but expects China to put pressure on Australia to deny Kadeer permission to enter Australia.
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