26 Jul 2009

Chinese hack Melbourne film festival site

4:36 pm on 26 July 2009

Chinese hackers have attacked the website of Australia's biggest film festival, in protest at plans to screen a documentary about the exiled Uighur leader, Rebiya Kadeer.

The Melbourne Age newspaper says the site of the Melbourne International Film Festival was broken into on Saturday.

Information on the site was replaced with the Chinese flag and anti-Kadeer slogans, hours after the festival's official opening.

Festival director Richard Moore believes the hacking of the site has been carried out by Chinese people outside Australia, who are angry the festival is screening a documentary about Rebiya Kadeer.

Mr Moore says the intensity of the attacks has only strengthened his desire to screen the film.

"How could we change our mind now?" he said.

"It just makes our position even, even stronger and we may even consider programming more sessions of 10 Conditions of Love."

On Friday Beijing withdrew four Chinese films from the festival.

Mr Moore told the Melbourne Age that his staff have been bombarded with abusive emails and that private security guards have been hired to protect film goers at next month's screening.