Friday, July 22, 2011

Police Station Attacked in Hotan, Examples of Sina Weibo and Search Engine Censorship

On July 18, 2011, the state sponsored People's Daily published an article entitled "Police Station in Hotan, Xinjiang Attacked, Several Attackers Shot Dead" (新疆和田派出所遭袭 数名袭击者被击毙). It published an English version of the article the following day entitled "Rioters Gunned Down, Hostages Rescued in Xinjiang Police Station Attack." Some excerpts:
Police gunned down several rioters who attacked a police station and killed four people in Hotan city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Monday noon, sources with the Ministry of Public Security said.
Rioters broke into the police station shortly after 12 p.m.. They assaulted the police, took hostages and set fire to the station, according to the ministry.
A member of the armed police, a security personnel and two hostages were killed during the ordeal, the ministry said, adding that another security personnel was severely injured.
These screenshots were taken on July 18, and show that on that day searches on Sina Weibo for "Xinjiang" (新疆) and "Hotan" (和田) returned no results, just a censorship notice.

These screenshots were taken on July 21, and show that a search for "Xinjiang" is returning results, and in fact provides “Xinjiang Hotan” (新疆和田) as a suggested search term. But when a user clicks on that link (outlined in red), they are taken to a page with no results, just a censorship notice.

The Global Times subsequently published several articles regarding the July 18 incident in Hotan, Xinjiang:

The last article included the following statement:
On July 19, anti-terrorism expert Li Wei told the "Global Times," that this terrorist surprise attack in Hotan was a violent attack similar to the Mumbai surprise attack that took place several days ago, and the hostage taking, whether in terms of methods, tools, targets or form, were all consistent with a classic international terrorism incident. But the West ignores this, and conflates it with Han and Uighur ethnic contradictions, and panders to the "World Uygur Congress" version, and creates problems for China. So China faces a predicament that is similar to many non-Western countries when they trying to fight terrorism. 

The Global Times’ website also put up a video entitled “Hu Xijin: Western Media Broadcasts On Behalf of the World Uyghur Congress, How China Handles It” (胡锡进:西媒替世维会传谣 中国怎应对)

The screenshot below was taken on July 22, and shows a search for the Chinese abbreviation for “World Uyghur Congress" (世维会) on the Sogou search engine returns no results, just a notice that says “The keywords you entered may relate to content that does not comply with relevant laws and regulations.” (您输入的关键词可能涉及不符合相关法律法规的内容。)

Translation: Huang Xuqin and Wang Jianbing Inciting Subversion Indictment

On June 14, 2024, the Twitter account "Free Huang Xueqin & Wang Jianbing 释放雪饼" (@FreeXueBing)  posted a copy of the last two p...