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China: Police clamp down on protestors days after COVID protests

Picture Courtesy: Getty Images

Authorities in China started clamping down on protesters on Monday, after protests against COVID restrictions appear to have died down. A heavy police presence has been reported in several cities, and some gatherings were quelled or failed to materialize.

Last weekend's demonstrations had grown after a fire in a high-rise block in Urumqi, western China, killed 10 people on Thursday. Thousands took to the streets for days, demanding an end to Covid lockdowns - with some even making rare calls for President Xi Jinping to stand down.

However, on Monday, the planned protests in Beijing did not happen after officers surrounded the assembly point. In Shanghai, large barriers were erected along the main protest route and police made several arrests.

On Tuesday morning, police could be seen in both cities patrolling areas where some groups on the Telegram social media app had suggested people should gather again. In Hong Kong, however, dozens of protesters gathered in the centre of the city and at the campus of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in a show of solidarity with demonstrators in mainland China.

The Police have also detained journalists covering the protests in recent days. News agency Reuters said one of its journalists was briefly detained on Sunday before being released.

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