China police target online 'jihad' talk amid rumour crackdown
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Police in China's Xinjiang region are cracking down on people who promote jihad online, state media reported on Tuesday, amid a nationwide campaign against internet rumours that activists say is a blow to freedom of speech.
Sprawling Xinjiang is home to the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority, many of whom harbour resentment of what they see as Chinese repression of their culture and religion. Some are campaigning for a separate Muslim state and there have been incidents of violence.
Xinjiang police were investigating 256 people for spreading "destabilising rumours" online, the Xinjiang Daily newspaper said. Of those, 139 spread rumours about jihad, or Muslim holy war, or other religious ideas. More than 100 had been detained.
"Our local public security bureaus are strongly cracking down on those who engage in illegal activities online," the newspaper said. "Xinijang must not allow the internet to become a platform for crime."