NewsAsiaHRW calls on Chinese authorities to respect protesters' right to protest peacefully

HRW calls on Chinese authorities to respect protesters’ right to protest peacefully

A protest in London to demand Human Rights from the Chinese authorities – HESTHER NG / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACT PHOTO

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Chinese authorities to respect the fundamental rights of protesters to protest “peacefully” against the “draconian restrictions of the so-called ‘COVID Zero’ policy.

“The Chinese authorities should not suppress the protests, but allow everyone to peacefully express their views,” Yaqiu Wang, a China researcher for Human Rights Watch, said, adding that protesters face “extraordinary risks” in demanding compliance with the Human rights.

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In this sense, he has expressed that Beijing “has seriously underestimated the will” of the population in the Asian giant. “People, with incredible courage, are showing the Chinese Communist Party and the world that they, like everyone else, have a say in how they are governed,” she said.

Since Friday, residents of China have organized several protests in different cities of the country over the measures imposed against the coronavirus within the framework of the so-called ‘COVID Zero’ policy implemented by Xi Jinping.

The protests erupted in the wake of a fire in the city of Urumqi, in the western region of Xinjiang, where at least 10 people died, reportedly due to the slow response of firefighters due to restrictions against the coronavirus.

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The chants to end the so-called ‘COVID Zero’ policy are also added to the criticism of the lack of transparency of the Chinese authorities and their policy of repression of freedom of expression.

Images of the protests have left chants and slogans such as “Resign, Xi Jinping! Resign, Communist Party!” in the context of growing social discontent while the Asian giant registers records of daily positive cases never seen since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The day before, the attack was reported on British BBC journalist Edward Lawrence, who was “beaten and kicked by the Police” before being arrested, according to the radio-television corporation itself.

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Amnesty International, like Human Rights Watch, already asked the Chinese authorities on Sunday to carry out a containment exercise in the face of the protests unleashed in various parts of the country, including Beijing, Wuhan or Shanghai.


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