Xinjiang internet still not restored

Robert Clark
01 Feb 2010
00:00

Seven months after deadly ethnic riots, the internet in Xinjiang in north-west China remains almost totally cut off.

Users cannot send or receive email, and only very limited web access is available, according to press freedom group Reporters Without Borders.

This is contrary to claims by Chinese authorities that restrictions on internet services in the mostly Muslim northwestern region have been lifted.

“This is not the case. Official websites such as Xinhuanet.com and People.com.cn are again available but most of the Internet is still cut off seven months after the riots,” the group said.

International call prices have been hiked and are “therefore beyond the reach of most of the population. The situation is the same with SMS messages,” it added. “It is also impossible to send or receive emails.”

Security agencies are continuing to aggressively monitor communications.

“Anyone connecting to the Internet in Xinjiang cannot leave comments or see the forum sections on websites. Any unpatriotic comment or rumor is banned and people are being urged to denounce violators so that they can be punished.

“We condemn the Chinese government’s propaganda, which is trying to give the impression that communications have been restored in Xinjiang. Despite a few highly-publicized measures, the internet in Xinjiang continues in practice to be cut off from the rest of the world.”

It said that Uyghur websites such as Diyarim and Xabnam, among others, were still blocked. The complete list can be seen at: http://www.rsf.org/Survey-of-blocked-Uyghur-websites.html

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