Police not chasing film festival hackers

The Melbourne International Film Festival's site was reportedly hacked by pro-Chinese protesters over the weekend, but police aren't following up the crime.

The Melbourne International Film Festival's site was reportedly hacked by pro-Chinese protesters over the weekend, but police aren't following up the crime.

(Chinese Flag image by
Philip Jägenstedt, CC2.0)

The site went down early Saturday, the first full day of the festival, according to ABC News. The normal film festival site was replaced with a Chinese flag and a protest. "We like film, but we hate Rebiya Kadeer! We like peace and we hate East Turkistanterrorist! Please apologise to all the Chinese people! Hacked by oldjun!" the ABC reported the site as saying until it was restored at around 3pm.

The festival had already been in the news for a documentary it was screening about Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer. The Uyghurs, an ethnic minority group in China, complain that they are repressed under the Chinese Government's rule. The festival had reportedly received requests from the Chinese consulate not to screen the film.

The Age and ABC News reported that the police were investigating attacks on the site. Yet a spokesperson for Victoria Police said that although police had been engaged to prevent possible demonstrations at screenings, to the spokesperson's knowledge, there was no investigation of the hacking effort. The Australian Federal Police also said it had received no referral.

A spokesperson for the festival had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

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