Hong Kong: The Iranian opposition, standing up against the authoritarian regime in Teheran, found support on Monday from an unlikely quarter: Chinese people, who themselves face strict censorship and restrictions on political freedom.
Chinese Internet users overcame the government's online roadblocks to voice support for protesters in Iran and criticise their own government's clampdowns. Although social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook are blocked in China, many surfers evidently got around the barriers to post messages of support for the protesters.
On Twitter, the hashtag #CN4Iran -- which stands for 'China for Iran' -- was trending high on Monday, symbolising a high volume of traffic on the subject.
Other posts kept up a steady real-commentary on the violent, historic developments inside Iran with links to news sources.
More worryingly for the Chinese authorities, these expressions of solidarity are turning into articulations directed against the Chinese government's oppression and internet censorship.
"Today we free Teheran, tomorrow we take on Beijing," read a provocative post. CN4Iran is "a symbol of struggles for both Chinese and Iranians" noted another commentator.
A third said that what was happening in Iran represented "China tomorrow".
Others were harshly critical of the official Chinese media's "disinformation campaign", which, they said, mischaracterised opposition protests as "a pro-government rally".
cn4iran.org is consolidating these tweets of solidarity from the Chinese. A message -- in Chinese and English -- on its homepage reads, "We are watching you, and we are supporting you. Come on, Iran!"
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