mandag 20. februar 2023

The protesters who've gone missing as China deepens crackdown

As China declares victory over the pandemic, the landmark protests in November which spelled the end for zero-Covid rules have begun fading from memory. But as the country moved on, many of those who took part in the demonstrations went missing, taken by authorities in a quietly deepening crackdown on dissenters. Thousands rallied against restrictive Covid policies in the so-called White Paper protests, holding up blank white sheets in the dark. It was a rare show of criticism of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and its leader Xi Jinping.

Police made few arrests at the time. Now, months on, scores of those protesters are in police custody, say Chinese activists, with one group estimating there have been more than 100 arrests. International rights groups and foreign universities have called for their release. And activist groups have published lists naming the alleged detainees. This includes those who protested in Beijing as well as other cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Nanjing.