Two men were detained in a southern Chinese city for spreading a rumor that hundreds of terrorists have arrived in the city, police said, just days before a new law banning false terror information goes into effect.
Police in the Shenzhen city district of Guangming said Monday that two executives of an unspecified local company were detained after they posted the rumor-containing notice at their firm.
A photo posted by the police shows the notice warning company employees that 300 people from the far northwestern region of Xinjiang who were trained by the Islamic State group had arrived in the city.
Xinjiang is home to members of the Muslim minority Uighur community. Uighurs have been involved in several violent attacks denounced as part of global terrorism by Chinese authorities, although critics say it is more likely to be homegrown under Beijing’s repressive ethnic and religious policies and practices in Xinjiang.
The violence, which has left hundreds of people dead in and outside Xinjiang over the past several years, has prompted Beijing to launch an antiterror campaign in Xinjiang and, most recently, to approve the country’s first antiterrorism law.
The law, which takes effect Friday, bans fabrication of terror information. The law says that in times of possible terror attacks, only China’s antiterrorism leadership agencies can release information on how the attacks occurred, developed and are dealt with.