Wednesday, October 30, 2013

China's Web Sites Delete Posts, Censor Searches Tying Tiananmen Car Crash to Xinjiang and Terrorism

On October 29, 2013, the state sponsored Southern Group published an article on its web site entitled "Beijing Police Issue APB In Connection With Jeep That Crashed Into Tiananmen's Jinshui Bridge" (北京警方就吉普车冲撞天安门金水桥事件发出摸排通知). Some excerpts:
Image of Police Notice
Following an incident in Beijing where a Jeep crashed into Tiananmen's Jinshui Bridge, on October 29 authorities rapidly dealt with the matter and on the 29th issued a bulletin asking the public to provide information on two Uighurs.
. . . .
Hotel employees received a document from Beijing's public security unit entitled "Notice Regarding the Immediate Launch of Search for Illegal Vehicles," which noted that a major incident had occured in Beijing, and asking for information regarding two Uighurs, saying they were residents of Shanshan county and Pi Shan county in Xinjiang, and the suspect cars were light colored SUVs, and that four of the vehicles had Xinjiang license plates.
The notice stated that, in order to assist the ongoing investigation of these people and vehicles, hotels should undertake a search of records since October 1 of their guest, car park, and visitor parking registrations, and if any of the suspects or vehicles were discovered they should be immediately reported to the police. 
. . . .
On October 30, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "Delink the Square from Country’s Security Concern." Some excerpts:
A jeep plowed into crowds in Beijing's Tiananmen Square at noon on Monday, killing five people and injuring 38. The crash set the vehicle aflame and killed its three occupants. The other two were tourists.
. . . .
Some have assumed that it was a terrorist strike but the possibility did not ignite tension in society.
Public opinion now awaits the authoritative conclusion of the official enquiry.
. . . .
The Square is a symbol of people's faith in China's stability and development.
This screenshot was taken on October 30, and shows that Baidu has banned users from setting up a forum on its PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) product to discuss Tiananmen. 
These screenshots were taken the same day, and show that Sina Weibo had begun censoring searches for "Tiananmen Xinjiang" (天安门 新疆), and was deleting posts containing statements such as "Tiananmen Uighur Status Exposed" (天安门维族人身份曝光).

These screenshots were taken the same day and show that major search engines and social networks in China were censoring "Tiananmen Terror" (天安门 恐怖).