Thursday, 3 February 2011

Wired: Iran, China Block Outside Sites to Muzzle Mideast News

Wired Magazine's Danger Room reports on somewhat predictable behaviour from two regimes peculiarly sensitive to public protest—even when it's not happening at home:
The authoritarian regimes in Iran and China are playing a double game, when it comes to the unrest in the Middle East. Tehran and Beijing are doing their best to spin the protests in their favor, when they talk to the world. But at home, they’re pursuing a different strategy: trying to muzzle anything but the official line on the upheaval

Commentators have been keen to liken the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia both to the 1979 revolution that brought the Iranian regime to power and the electoral protests of the Green Movement which tried to unseat it. Not surprisingly, the Iranian government has preferred to use the latter comparison. ....

.... With large economic interests in Egypt, China’s hopes for Egypt are decidedly less ideological. In public, Beijing is asking for just one thing: quiet.

“We hope Egypt will restore social stability and normal order as soon as possible.” That’s been the consistent refrain from China’s Foreign Ministry when quizzed on its reaction to the events.

At home, China has blocked internet searches for “Egypt” and reportedly ordered Chinese media to follow the state-run news service Xinhua’s line on the protest movements, which has emphasized the disturbance caused by the protests at the expense of explanations of their political grievances.

Worth reading the whole piece for yet another current example of state censorship, propaganda and manipulation of human rights.

1 comment:


    The above video from the BBC News website shows that the revolution overthrowing the Egyptian government has had an immediate impact, with Iranian ships entering the Suez Canal for the first time since the 1979 revolution, mentioned in the article.