Chinese hack into Australian film fest website


Hackers sabotaged the website of the Melbourne International Film Festival, a report said Sunday.

Festival director Richard Moore believes the hacking of the site has been carried out by Chinese people outside Australia, who are angry over the film fest’s decision to screen a documentary about exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

Moore said his staff had been bombarded with abusive emails after he rejected demands from the Chinese government to drop the film about the political activist, and cancel her invitation to the festival.

Content on the website was replaced with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans early Saturday, just hours after Premier John Brumby officially opened this year’s event at the Arts Centre.

10 Conditions of Love, the film about Kadeer by Australian filmmaker Jeff Daniels, examines the impact on the family of the political figure as she fights for greater autonomy of the Uighurs, an ethnic minority group who live primarily in the northwest region of Xinjiang.

The Chinese government accuses Kadeer of inciting riots between Uighurs and Han settlers that swept Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, earlier this month. Around 200 people died and 1,600 were injured in the mutiny.

Beijing has withdrawn five films from the festival in protest.

[Image via flickr]