Wednesday 13 November 2019

'Rumour-mongers' held over China stampede

Jamie Fullerton

Police in Shanghai have detained dozens of people accused of spreading "rumours" about the New Year's Eve stampede in the city that left 36 people dead.

Pressure on the force, which has been accused of being responsible for the deaths by not deploying enough officers in the Bund area where the crush occurred, is intensifying after Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered an investigation.

A Shanghai police source said: "The accident caused hundreds of policemen to work extra hours. It was understood that negative comments or false information online couldn't be entirely eradicated, but the interrogations were deemed as a warning to those unfriendly internet users."

China began its crackdown on online rumour-spreading last year with its 'Cleaning the Web 2014' campaign. Many saw the campaign as a way of taking legal action against the government's critics.

Around 100,000 to 150,000 people were in the Bund area at the time of the stampede. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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