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Chinese man detained for downloading 2 IS attack videos

Beijing: A Chinese citizen was detained for downloading and storing two videos of prisoners being decapitated by the Islamic State (IS) terror group, authorities said on Tuesday.

The man, surnamed Kang, was arrested by the Public Security Bureau of Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, following an administrative detention procedure that does not require any trial, Efe news reported.

Kang admitted his mistake, saying he downloaded the videos only out of curiosity and insisted he had not shared them with anyone else, the magazine reported citing police sources.

China’s First Anti Terrorism Law, in force since January 1, provides for administrative detention of between 10 and 15 days for people who produce, disseminate, or illegally possess material that advocates terrorism or extremism.

Kang’s is the first such detention for downloading videos with sensitive content, though another man was held for 15 days in the same city of Shijiazhuang in July 2016 for storing six videos containing terrorism-related material in his computer.

Human rights groups and the US government expressed their concern over this law fearing it might strengthen censorship and suppression in the communist regime.

Beijing has defended the law on the grounds that it is similar to those in other countries hit by terrorism, and stressed its aim was to reduce propaganda by violent groups in China after more than 100 of its citizens joined the ranks of Islamic State in recent years.