According to Taiwan News, Dolkun Isa, the president of the World Uyghur Congress, was denied entry to Taiwan by President Tsai Ing-wen, who is from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). This was despite the fact that Dolkun Isa is the recipient of the 2019 Democracy Award from National Empowerment for Democracy (NED), a private, nonprofit foundation based in the U.S.
As a German citizen, Dolkun Isa contacted Taiwan’s representative office in Germany to apply for a visa. He was received by Representative Shieh Jhy-wey, who promised to submit the application to the government, yet the application was denied. In fact, the need for Dulkun Isa to even apply for a visa was questionable, because Taiwan and Germany have a reciprocal visa exemption agreement for travelers.
This was not the first time that Dolkun Isa was denied entry to Taiwan. According to Taiwan News, former President Ma Ying-jeou also refused to let Dolkun Isa visit Taiwan in 2009 when the Kuomintang (KMT) party took over the reins of government. Ma’s premier, Wu Den-yih claimed the ban would only be lifted after Dolkun Isa stepped down as president of the World Uyghur Congress. In February 2016, Dolkun Isa once again expressed his desire to visit Taiwan in order to take part in the Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum. Yet, once again, his request was denied by the Ma administration. Dolkun Isa was hopeful at that time that he would be able to visit Taiwan after the Democratic Progressive Party took over the government in May 2016. Apparently, Tsai administration is following suit of the previous administrations.
Dolkun Isa is not the only human rights activist who was denied entry to Taiwan by President Tsai Ing-wen. In an exclusive report on June 5, Taiwan News revealed that the Tsai administration had also denied the Dalai Lama and Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer entry to Taiwan. This is despite the fact that the General-Secretary to President Tsai, Chen Chu, had promised to invite Dalai Lama to Taiwan on behalf of the president.
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