Communist Party authorities have ordered residents in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, to stay inside of their homes for weeks as part of a severe lockdown allegedly to contain a local coronavirus outbreak. Police have reportedly handcuffed some residents to buildings for trying to escape quarantine.
Xinjiang is known as the home of China’s oppressed minority Uyghur population. Its capital, Urumqi, has been in a CCP-declared “wartime state” of lockdown for over a month since authorities detected a cluster of new coronavirus cases there in July, the Guardian reported.
China has built hundreds of concentration camps in Xinjiang in which survivors say Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities face torture, forced sterilization, slavery, and potential organ harvesting, as well as communist indoctrination and forced rejection of their faith.
Since Friday, people in Urumqi have inundated Chinese social media platforms with complaints about the extreme local quarantine measures. Some internet users claimed police chained them to buildings after seeing them attempt to leave their homes without the CCP’s permission. Australia’s ABC News published video footage on Tuesday allegedly showing Urumqi residents handcuffed to railings outside buildings in the capital.
One person on Chinese social media said Communist Party officials forced them to stay in a coronavirus quarantine center for two months, according to the Guardian. Several people say they have been required to take the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Lianhua Qingwen, an herbal remedy the CCP has been promoting as an unproven treatment for coronavirus, according to ABC.
Video clips posted to Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat over the weekend allegedly capture Urumqi residents screaming from their apartment windows, frustrated at being forced to remain inside their homes during the quarantine.
“‘Open the door,’ some of the people can be heard yelling,” ABC translated in one of the video clips.
— lidang 立党 (@lidangzzz) August 22, 2020
Although the video footage has not been independently verified, “a notice posted online from one residential compound [in Urumqi] warned that anyone who participated in the ‘roaring’ activity on August 23 had committed an ‘illegal act’,” the Guardian noted.
CCP officials continue to enforce a strict lockdown on the regional capital, in place since July, despite claiming that Urumqi has not recorded any new coronavirus cases in the past eight days. Prior to this claim, Urumqi had officially documented over 531 coronavirus cases by mid-August, according to the report.