Hackers protesting against the Australian visit of exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer mistakenly crashed the website of an arts festival with a similar name, organisers said Thursday.
A group calling themselves Global Hack Attack hijacked the Melbourne International Art Festival's site, replacing the home page with a Chinese flag and message condemning Kadeer, a spokeswoman said.
"We like film but we hate Rebiya Kadeer!" the hackers wrote, in a screenshot seen by AFP.
"We like peace and we hate Rebiya terrorist! Please apologise to all the Chinese people.
"The manifesto of hacker: maintains the reunification of the motherland, guards the national sovereignty."
Festival general manager Vivia Hickman said she suspected the attack had mistakenly been directed at their site instead of the Melbourne International Film Festival, which Kadeer was attending this week as a guest.
"I don't know if this is associated with what's happened with the film festival, our names are similar," Hickman said.
"It seems very strange and we have referred the matter to the police and they are looking at it."
Hackers have already hit the film festival's site twice in protest against the screening of Kadeer biopic "Ten Conditions of Love" and her associated visit.
The US-based leader of the World Uighur Congress, who China blames for inciting riots in Xinjiang region which killed at least 197 people last month, arrived here Tuesday despite strong protests from Beijing.
She denied instigating the unrest, and said Beijing was using her as a scapegoat to divert attention from the suffering of the mainly Muslim Uighur minority, who claim they have been persecuted since Chinese troops "peacefully liberated" the vast region 60 years ago.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Cybercrime now 'number one' threat: Europol chief