China Internet Crackdown Snares Uighur Users

Dozens arrested in recent weeks for allegedly spreading 'jihad'

  • Share
  • Read Later
STR / AFP / Getty Images

An anti-terrorism force including public security police and the armed police attend an anti-terrorism joint exercise in Hami, northwest China's Xinjiang region on July 2, 2013.

July and August produced a surge of arrests in China’s restive Xinjiang province, as authorities clamped down on what the state-run China Daily called “religious extremist content on the Internet.”

A total of 139 people were arrested for allegedly posting or sharing jihadist sentiments online.

Dilshat Rexit, a spokesman for the overseas-based World Uyghur Congress, claims that the government’s aim is to “suppress Uighurs’ use of the Internet to obtain information and express different points of view.” Beijing has previously complained of separatist Uighurs fighting in the Syrian war and returning to Xinjiang to put their military experience into practice.