Chinese internet user detained for spreading 'rumours' online in troubled Xinjiang region
The man, identified as a member of the region's Muslim Uighur minority, was held after an incident in late July left tens of individuals dead
Chinese authorities have arrested a man accused of spreading online “rumours” about a recent outbreak of violence in China’s troubled Xinjiang region.
On 28 July Chinese state media reported that a “terror attack” in Yarkant County ended with a total of 96 deaths after a group armed with knives attacked a police station and government buildings.
However, exile groups associated with the region’s Uighur Muslim minority say that the bloodshed took place after security forces opened fire on demonstrators protesting the restriction of Ramadan celebrations.
The 22-year-old internet user arrested by authorities reported this version of events, but state media accused him of "fabricating horrifying details and deliberately incited ethnic hatred."
The man reportedly claimed that there had been extra-judicial killings carried out by security forces in several villages in the region prior to 28 July, speculating that this could have left as many as 3,000 to 5,000 dead.
State-controlled Tianshan News reports that the man confessed to inflating these figures to “create a bigger impact online” and “get other people’s attention”.
Independent verification of either version of events is near impossible, with the region tightly controlled and with no access given to foreign journalists.
Large parts of Xinjiang have reportedly been under a de facto state of emergency since May after an attack using explosives killed 31 and injured 94 shoppers at a crowded market.
Although it’s uncommon for groups to claim responsibility for these increasingly frequent attacks, Chinese authorities often blame the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) – a separatist group that wants full autonomy for Xinjiang, which they know as East Turkestan.
ETIM is recognised as a terrorist group by both the Chinese and US governments, and local authorities have recently launched a year-long campaign that includes increased police and army presence in several key cities in the area.
Life & Style blogs
Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
GTA 5: Christmas arrives in Los Santos as update brings snowball fights, festive jumpers and a homing missile launcher
'Tis the season!: Google celebrates Christmas Eve with second animated Doodle
Christmas 2014: Jesus was not born in a stable, says theologian
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£21000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Award-winning pharma softw...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Java Developer is requ...