Aussie film festival website defaced amid Uighur row

Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:02pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Hackers have defaced the website of Australia's biggest film festival which refused to withdraw a documentary about exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, organizers said on Monday.

The Chinese government two weeks ago protested to the Melbourne International Film Festival over the inclusion of the documentary and last week three Chinese films were withdrawn in protest at Kadeer's planned attendance at the August 8 premiere.

Beijing has blamed Kadeer for instigating this month's ethnic riots in Urumqi in Xinjiang in which almost 200 people died. She denies the claim.

Festival organizer Richard Moore said on Monday that hackers had replaced festival information with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans and were continuing to disrupt the site by spamming. He said the attacks appeared to be coming from a Chinese IP address.

The cyber-attack came as festival organizers confirmed that federal and state police had been called in and private security guards hired to protect film-goers and festival staff.

Moore said the intensity of the attacks had only strengthened his desire to screen the film "10 Conditions of Love" by Australian filmmaker Jeff Daniels.

The documentary tells of Kadeer's relationship with activist husband Sidik Rouzi and the fallout on her 11 children of her push for more autonomy for China's 10 million mainly Muslim Uighurs. Three of her children have been jailed.

"It just makes our position even stronger and we may even consider programing more sessions of '10 Conditions of Love'," he told state radio.

"We're also being bombarded at present by a series of absolutely disgusting vile e-mails attacking the festival and using language that I wouldn't even begin to describe on the radio, it is vile."   Continued...

<p>The poster for the film "The 10 Conditions Of Love", to be screened at Melbourne International Film Festival, is seen in this handout image obtained on July 15, 2009. REUTERS/Acrimedia/Handout</p>