Huge Covid-19 protests erupt in China's Xinjiang after deadly fire kills 10
Telegraph, 26 Nov 2022
Unprecedented protests against Covid restrictions broke out in China overnight on Friday, with hundreds taking to the streets in Xinjiang's capital amid anger over a deadly fire.
Footage posted online showed crowds clashing with SWAT-uniformed guards on Friday in the city of Urumqi after rumours spread that ongoing draconian anti-Covid measures had led to the deaths of 10 in a blaze in a high-rise building late on Thursday.
Crowds pumped their fists in the air as they walked down a street and chanted, “Lift the lockdown,” according to videos circulating on social media and verified by Reuters and other newswires.
In one video, a man can be heard shouting at the guards, "Whose children are you, and whose father are you? Don't you have a conscience? How many people died today?"
Xinjiang has been the site of one of China’s toughest and longest Covid lockdowns, with many of Urumqi's 4 million residents having been prevented from leaving their homes for as long as 100 days.
The apartment block where the fire was had previously been under lockdown, although it was not clear if that was still the case when the fire broke out.
Urumqi officials gave a press conference on Saturday denying that Covid measures had hampered residents' rescue and escape but said they would investigate further.
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