The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
Central Propaganda Department: The media are absolutely forbidden from reporting on the August 7 rioting and looting in Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang Province. (August 8, 2013)
Conflict between local police and Uyghur Muslims erupted on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan. According to reports by RFA [zh], RFI [zh], and Apple Daily [zh], on the evening of August 7 the police arrested four people in Ayikulezhen, Aksu for “engaging in illegal religious activities” (从事非法宗教活动). A crowd gathered at the police station, with some throwing stones and bricks. At 1:20 a.m. on August 8, the police opened fire on the crowd, killing at least three and injuring 20. 12 police officers were also injured.
Xinjiang has had a markedly violent year. At least 21 people died in clashes with the police outside the far western city of Kashgar in late April. In June, 35 died in riots in Turpan, and another 24 in Hotan just days later.
Tension between the majority Uyghur population and the Han Chinese lead to widespread riots in the summer of 2009. Some of the same grievances then spur protests and violence today, including policies which curb religious expression.
CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date on CDT Chinese is noted after the directives; the date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.