As the Chinese Communist Party’s media representatives echo a gradual opening of society in different cities, the Xinjiang region in northern China is living under an intense blockade and isolation, which according to Party officials, is necessary to contain the 800 diagnosed cases of the CCP Virus.
The 22 million inhabitants of the region, which is almost four times the size of California, have been subjected to the strict measures since mid-July by authorities who go from door to door sealing off the entrances with strips of paper, tape, and even metal bars to confine people to their homes for weeks.
As The Guardian pointed out, on Friday, Aug. 21 several internet users have complained through social networks about the measures applied, classifying them as too harsh, since they are forced to maintain the extended quarantine, even though cases have decreased.
They complained of being trapped in their buildings when they tried to leave, and even one reported that he had been held captive in a quarantine center for two months where he was forced to take Linhua Qingwen, a Chinese herbal remedy promoted to treat the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Virus.
Amid the discontent over the pressure that Xinjiang residents live, some users encouraged the removal of accounts from the Chinese social network Weibo, claiming that it has encouraged the spread of disinformation.
Over the weekend, the Xinjiang and Urumqi hashtags were apparently removed and some users reported that they were ordered to post positive messages about the confinement measures imposed by local officials.
As the Beijing correspondent for National Public Radio, Emily Feng, pointed out in an article, in the region that was declared “in war mode,” outraged residents referring to the measures taken by officials as quarantine policies and heavy-handed testing that are out of sync with the severity of the outbreak.
University of Colorado researcher Darren Byler denounced the intrusive methods Chinese authorities have used to blockade cities since January under a campaign called a million police enter ten million homes.
Community officials accompanied by auxiliary police closely monitored each home, making sure that each person visited did not leave.
“In some cases, the orders to shelter in place during the initial lockdown and the current lockdown were delivered with little to no warning, so some people were forced to stay in their place of work apart from their families and without supplies,” Byler said.
According to Feng, Urumqi residents told NPR that they had been tested for the CCP Virus up to three times in the last month and had had their temperatures taken by local officials three times a day.
Several citizens decided to show their displeasure in Weibo against the situation in the region by using the hashtag “Xinjiang refugees,” which began a trend on the Chinese social network.
According to Feng, “most of the posts were soon deleted, and several accounts suspended. Videos shared on the platform by frustrated residents show Xinjiang residents cuffed to window bars and balcony railings outside their homes, a punishment for violating home quarantine rules.”
Amid the high level of citizen discontent, the state media this week published the phone numbers of a dozen senior officials and Party members at the provincial and city levels, encouraging angry residents to contact the hotline directly.
Xinjiang is also home to 11 million people belonging to the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority who, since 2017, have had their rights violated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through extra-legal arrests.
According to the specialized magazine in human rights, Bitter Winter, the Uighurs are detained in detention camps where the prisoners are also indoctrinated and punished. The CCP claims that these are re-education camps designed to prevent “terrorism.”
The CCP classifies as “terrorism” all forms of criticism against the Party and all political activities that claim the independence or real autonomy of the region.
The documented repression against the Uighurs is only one example of the violation of human rights by the CCP against any form of expression that deviates from the guidelines of its doctrine.
In addition to Christians in the interior of the country who must practice their faith clandestinely or join the patriotic movement of the three autonomies, regulated by the state, the practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong have suffered the most from the CCP’s repression. Since 1999 they have been subjected to an assortment of persecution methods that currently raise concern among human rights experts.