Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia’s government yesterday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country.

China has allegedly rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other minorities into re-education camps in tightly controlled Xinjiang region, in the country’s northwest.

Sadam Abdusalam has campaigned for months for his Uighur wife, Nadila Wumaier, and their son Lutifeier, whom he has never met, to be allowed to come to Australia.

Australia’s embassy has “formally requested that the Chinese authorities allow Ms Wumaier and her son (who is an Australian citizen) to travel to Australia”, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said yesterday.

The statement came after Abdusalam, an Australian citizen, shared his plight publicly for the first time during a documentary on the Xinjiang camps aired on Monday on national broadcaster ABC.

He told AFP that his wife was taken in for questioning by Chinese authorities the following day, but was later released.

Payne said that she was aware of the reports that Wumaier was interrogated, but added that diplomats had no consular access rights as she was not an Australian citizen.

Sadam Abdusalam has been campaigning for months so his Uighur wife and their son can come to Australia. – AFP