China's state Internet censors have ratcheted up web filters, and security officers are harassing and detaining bloggers and activists as an online appeal for a "Jasmine Revolution" spreads in China.
The apparent crackdown came in advance of two top legislative meetings, the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, scheduled for March.
Censors blocked the word "jasmine" after overseas dissident-run news website Boxun and Chinese Twitter users broadcast calls on February 19 to mobilize street protests modeled on recent unrest in the Middle East, according to international news reports. (Twitter is generally blocked in China but accessible to users of proxy networks based overseas.) Only a handful of protesters appeared, although calls continued for government protests characterized as "strolls" to continue every Sunday around China, according to The Associated Press.
China detains, censors bloggers on 'Jasmine Revolution' (Committee to Protect Journalists)
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