Protests have broken out in China’s Xinjiang district after prolonged Covid restrictions while nationwide infections have also been setting records.
The residents of the far western district have been shouting demands for the end of the lockdown. Protestors could be seen pumping their fists as they walked down the street, videos from Xinjiang circulating on social media have shown.
Xinjiang has been put under the longest lockdown in the country. For as many as 100 days many of Urumqi’s four million residents were barred from leaving their homes. Around 100 new cases were reported in each of the past two days.
The protests that were already going on erupted after a fire in a high-rise building on Thursday night that had caused the deaths of 10. The residents of the building were unable to escape because of a partial lockdown in the building. On the other side, the authorities have said that the residents were able to go downstairs.
An early-hour news briefing was held abruptly by the Urumqi officials who denied that the escape and rescue were hampered by the Covid restrictions and lockdown. They also blamed the slow response of the residents that caused the increase in deaths.
The Rights groups of Xinjiang residing with about 10 million Uyghur along with Western governments have been accusing Beijing of abuse against Muslim ethnic minorities.