Protests in Guangzhou City as a Result of COVID Lockdown
Tibet and Human Rights Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defense.
Residents in Guangzhou city have revolted against the authorities amid the ongoing Covid lockdown in China. The protesters are tearing down barriers that confined them within their residential compounds, among other acts of protest (Lhamo, 2022). The protest comes after a string of protest related to the Chinese lockdown policies. On the 3rd of November, 200 people were detained in Tibet’s capital Lhasa over Covid protest as people were left without food or medical care (Kunchok, 2022).
The repressive lockdown has been in place since the 5th of November 2022, yet the city placed an additional three districts in lockdown last week following the surge in cases. The latter imposed restrictions on resident’s movements and business activities. It is still unclear how many participated in the protests, and Chinese censors immediately scrapped any related posts from the internet (Lhamo, 2022).
Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights (ICESCR) states that all individuals have the right to health and that the State must ensure the creation of conditions which would assure access to all medical services and medical attention in the event of sickness. In this regard, the deprivation of access to medication for those in lockdown areas violates article 12 of the ICESCR.
Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also states that all individuals have the right to liberty and security of person, underlining that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary detention and arrest. In addition to this article, article 10 of the ICCPR also writes that all people deprived of their liberty will be treated with humanity and with respect for the dignity of all human beings. The latter is not insured by the detention of the 200 protesters, who participated in legal activities yet were detained for doing so, and, during their detention, were denied access to basic needs.
NB: As a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in October 1998, China is not bound by the covenant however it has the obligation to act in good faith and not defeat the purpose of the ICCPR.
Sources and further reading:
Kunchok, S. (2022, November 3). 200 detained in Tibet’s capital Lhasa over COVID protest. Radio Free Asia. Retrieved November, 17, 2022, from https://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/tibet-detentions-11032022151829.html
Lhamo, C. (2022, November 16). Residents revolt against Covid lockdowns in China’s Guangzhou city. Phayul Newsdesk. Retrieved November, 17, 2022, from https://www.phayul.com/2022/11/16/47705/