The founder of a website that carried announcements about China's mysterious "Jasmine" rallies says his website has been crippled by fierce denial-of-service attacks.
Boxun.com founder Wei Shi told VOA on Sunday that the website has been crippled by the attacks, which began in mid-February after the first announcement calling for Chinese to congregate each Sunday at specified locations across China.
Wei said the U.S.-based website did not carry any announcement about protests this week out of concern for its reporters in China, and Wei added that the attacks have eased somewhat since Friday. He said he could not rule out publishing similar announcements in the future.
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Chinese police have greatly outnumbered demonstrators at the weekly protests and a number of foreign reporters were shoved and harassed at the designated sites a week ago. Most were ordered not to return to the sites this Sunday, but wire agencies reported that no identifiable protesters were present at the Beijing site, a busy shopping street.
Wei said his 10-year-old website, which enjoys a wide following in China, simply published the announcements in its role as a news organization. The originators of the calls for demonstrations, which appear to be inspired by the uprisings across the Middle East, have not identified themselves.
Chinese authorities did not grant permission for any news organizations to visit the protest sites this Sunday, and some of those reporters who did attend were again harassed by security officers.
The Beijing city government called a news conference at the hour set for the protest, where spokeswoman Wang Hui said the Chinese people value stability and security above all else.