Beijing [China], March 5, (ANI): Even as more than three months have passed ever since the Chinese youth took to the streets to demonstrate against President Xi Jinping's 'Zero-Covid' policy in November 2022, their arrest continue to happen, reported Voices Against Autocracy.
Unfortunately, many of the protesters who took part in the November 2022 street demonstrations in China against President Xi Jinping's "Zero-Covid" policy are no longer alive. Not only the public memory of these events is fading, but it's possible that the protests themselves may be forgotten in China as a result of China's harsh treatment of the protestors.
According to estimates, more than 100 arrests have taken place since the rallies, and thousands of people are being investigated for taking part in the White Paper protests. In the dark, tens of thousands of people protested Covid's stringent restrictions around China by holding up blank white sheets.
The ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and its leader Xi Jinping displayed a rare show of criticism against the protesters.
Since then, the rallies have received less media coverage, and Chinese authorities have taken every legal measure at their disposal to detain young professionals who were merely expressing their anger at the Chinese government for failing to tackle the Covid pandemic.
China's police made a number of arrests in the New Year; some sources put the number at over 100. Since several of the protesters had studied in the US and UK, international rights organisations and foreign institutions have been calling for their release, read a report in Voices Against Autocracy.
Even lists of purported arrests, including those who participated in protests in Beijing and other cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Nanjing, have been made public by activist groups.
The majority of the inmates in Beijing belonged to an informal group of friends who enjoyed the arts and frequently hung out at book clubs, movie screenings, and talks. The majority of them have advanced degrees, and they include writers, journalists, musicians, teachers, and people working in the financial sector.
Reporters Without Borders says that four of the inmates, including Li Siqiare journalists, called their detention "one more chilling warning to those who feel that real information should be reported even when it violates the government narrative."Human Rights Watch (HRW) remarked in response to the incident, "Young people in China are paying a terrible price for daring to speak up for freedom and human rights." HRW further stated that the authorities had threatened the detainees' friends and attorney.
According to a report in Voices Against Autocracy, on November 27, 2022, a number of women participated in a peaceful vigil held along the Liangma River in Beijing. A number of impromptu memorial services were organised around China to honour the victims of an apartment fire in Urumqi that stunned the nation and many people believed the victims could not have escaped due to Covid restrictions.
The vigil evolved into a nonviolent protest as participants held blank pieces of paper as a sign of dissatisfaction.
Knowing well how quickly China is known to put an end to protests, none of those who took part gave much thought to the anticipated response of the Chinese government and, as a result, did nothing to conceal their identities.
In meetings with European diplomats, China's leader Xi Jinping originally dismissed the vigils as the work of a few "frustrated student demonstrators." But, after that, Chinese authorities started utilising surveillance cameras and face recognition software to locate demonstrators and checked the phones of those who had been detained. The Ministry of Public Security could have located the protesters rather quickly.
A Telegram group created by one of the prisoners grew from a few members to more than sixty. Many of them made use of telephones that were registered in their actual names. Through December and January, it seemed like the number of arrests increased as more friends were taken into custody one by one. By the middle of December 2022, the protestors' public narrative in China had changed. this narrative had not before been mentioned in official outlets. Without any supporting evidence, national bloggers on the internet alleged (NPR January 11, 2023) that foreign meddling was to blame for the upheaval. Several Chinese leaders promoted the idea that foreign nations were to blame, Voices Against Autocracy reported.
The issue is that the CPC responds to protests by arresting people and typically making them "disappear," believing that any type of protest is directed against the Party.
In what human rights activists refer to as "killing the chicken to scare the monkey," observers feel that authorities are trying to make a statement with the arrests. The Chinese government appears to be searching for those they consider primary organisers and leaders. The Chinese government also wants to blame "Western hostile forces" for the protests.
It further highlights China's mistrust of the women's rights movement since many of the detained at present are female and have apparently been asked about supporting feminist causes. The CPC wanted to forget about the A4 protests, which peacefully criticised President Xi Jinping and his policies and were noteworthy for their occurrence.
It further highlights China's mistrust of the women's rights movement since many of the detained at present are female and have apparently been asked about supporting feminist causes. The CPC wants to forget about the A4 protests, which peacefully criticised President Xi Jinping and his policies and were noteworthy for their occurrence.
The issue is that Chinese individuals are being detained without their consent and do not even have the right to protest. The world needs to be on guard and defend the rights of peacefully protesting Chinese citizens, Voices Against Autocracy reported. (ANI)