Media blackout on Henan violence

The Hui-Han clashes which killed at least twenty people in Henan Province have been reported around the globe, despite government efforts to prevent media coverage. According to the AFP, four foreign journalists were detained while reporting from the scene, and local journalists have been banned from reporting the news. “They are afraid to trigger conflict among the ethnic groups,” a Chinese journalist told AFP. Xinhua did mention the incident in a report, but emphasized that everything, “is now under control,” and did not mention what sparked the riots.

The story has been especially widely reported in Middle Eastern media. Arab News published an editorial condemning discrimination against in China and calling for religious freedom.

UPDATE: In response to queries from foreign reporters, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said about the clashes, “This is a problem that happened in China, so it’s not necessary for foreign countries to know about it.” The full story is here.

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