和田 暴乱 (Hotan rebellion / Hétián bàoluàn) was a series of incidents that took place in July 2011 in the Xinjiang city of Hotan. As mentioned in the previous post, the northwestern province of Xinjiang is home to many Uyghurs—an ethnic minority group in China, many of whom follow Islam—and of whom continue to suffer great hardships and discrimination at the hands of the dominant Han majority, despite the governments efforts.
However, sometimes the government’s efforts are less than stellar: for instance, in 2011, the government sought to dissuade Uyghur women from wearing burqua-like black veiled-clothing, which they saw as radicalizing the population. This campaign was cited by some Uyghurs as what incited an allegedly suppressed protest in July 2011 and eventually led to a violent attack on a police station in Hotan later that month, where 18 Uyghurs wielding knives and homemade explosives killed two security guards before taking hostages. The attackers were eventually overpowered, and those who weren’t killed were captured and sentenced to death.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.