The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
Temporarily do not report on the violent incident that occurred Sunday [October 12] in Maralbeshi, Kashgar, Xinjiang. (October 19, 2014)
On Saturday, October 18, U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia reported on a violent incident in Kashgar prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the previous Sunday, October 12. The New York Times cites RFA in their coverage of the October 12 incident:
An attack on a farmers market in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang has reportedly left at least 22 people dead and dozens injured, Radio Free Asia, the news service financed by the American government, has reported.
Radio Free Asia said on Saturday that the rampage, which took place Oct. 12 in Kashgar Prefecture, was carried out by four men armed with knives and explosives who attacked police officers and merchants before being shot dead by the police. Most of the victims were ethnic Han Chinese and the assailants were ethnic Uighur, the news service said, citing local police officials.
One officer, Hashim Eli, said the assailants were local men who arrived on motorcycles at 10:30 a.m. “Two of them attacked police officers patrolling the street while the other two attacked the Han Chinese stall owners who were just entering the market to open their stores,” Radio Free Asia quoted him as saying.
A man who answered the phone at the police station in Bachu County, where the attack took place, declined to comment, saying he was not authorized to speak to reporters. [Source]
This is the latest of many recent violent attacks in Xinjiang, and comes as authorities continue a massive security crackdown in the region.
Beijing exercises strict control of the media narrative in Xinjiang, effectively barring journalists access from scenes of unrest. In continuing to limit media coverage, Beijing allows a monopoly on reported information to activists and advocacy groups; other media organizations, such as the Financial Times and The Times of India, have also cited RFA’s report in covering the attack in Xinjiang.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. 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.