Two internet users held after claim Shanghai's airports shutdown over 'anti-graft' crackdown
Police also imposed penalties on 37 web users for allegedly fabricating and circulating rumours linked to anti-corruption campaign and defaming others, state-run website reports
Two internet users have been placed in detention for allegedly fabricating and circulating “anti-graft-related” claims in the latest crackdown against internet “rumour mongers”, mainland media said.
Police have also imposed public security penalties – a lighter punishment – on another 37 internet users for allegedly fabricating and circulating rumours related to the anti-corruption campaign and defaming others, xinhuanet.com, the state-run news website of Xinhua, reported.
One Beijing-based internet user allegedly started rumours of a detention operation by police on the Sina Weibo microblogging platform on July 15.
On the same day, another internet user from Hainan province allegedly claimed that the police had closed both airports in Shanghai on July 14 as a part of the detention operation, which “has drawn attention and caused unrest among internet users”, the website reported.
More than 100 flights were delayed or cancelled at Shanghai’s two airports by air traffic control on July 14. But the Civil Aviation Administration of China did not explain at the time the reasons why this had happened.
Since last week the mainland’s internet has been full of rumours about a former military general being stopped at a Shanghai airport while trying to leave the country.
Police did not specify who had been mentioned in the rumours about the detention operation, the report said. Police in Beijing and Hainan could not be reached for comment.
The detention of two internet users comes after police announced the abrupt shutdown of 31 websites for “rumour mongering” – reported on Friday by South China Morning Post – which, according to sources, had targeted “political rumours”.
Since the launch of a nationwide crackdown against “rumour mongers” last August, mainland police have detained dozens of internet users. However, this is the first time that police have announced detentions of people for allegedly spreading rumours linked to the anti-graft campaign, which, since last year, has seen dozens of Communist Party cadres placed under investigation or prosecuted.