Chinese authorities have shut down an online discussion forum that reported on anti-corruption protests in a village in the country's south as well as a Web site serving ethnic Mongolians, overseas monitors said Tuesday.
China routinely shuts down or blocks Web sites that operate outside of government control, but the issue has received heightened international attention in recent weeks with the publication of new rules aimed at stifling online dissent.
Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-based broadcaster, said an online forum that covered protests in the village of Taishi has been closed. It said the site had been popular among academics, journalists and rights activists.
Residents of Taishi, which is near the manufacturing hub of Guangzhou, had demanded that their village chief be removed from office and investigated for allegations of embezzlement and fraud. Several villagers were reportedly injured in a clash with police last month when they tried to prevent police from seizing accounting ledgers that they said contained evidence of corruption.
Police and local authorities have refused to comment, informes the AP. I.L.