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UN calls on China to respect right to peaceful protests

The United Nations has urged Chinese government not to detain people simply for taking part in peaceful protests.

By India Today Web Desk New Delhi, November 28, 2022

The United Nations (UN) on Monday urged China to respect the right to peaceful protests in the country. The UN asked Chinese government not to detain people just for participating in the peaceful agitation, as Beijing tries to control the nationwide series of protests and demonstrations.

"We call on the authorities to respond to protests in line with international human rights laws and standards. No one should be arbitrarily detained for peacefully expressing their opinions," news agency AFP quoted UN Human Rights Office spokesman Jeremy Laurence as saying.

Earlier in the day, even the United States said that China's zero-Covid policy is unlikely to work and reaffirmed that everyone around the world has the right to protest peacefully.

"We've said that zero-COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here in the United States. And as we have said, we think it's going to be very difficult for the People's Republic of China to be able to contain this virus through their zero-COVID strategy," a spokesperson of the White House National Security Council told PTI.

Demonstrations are held across China against the strict enforcement of its zero-Covid policy. Under the new rule, authorities have blocked apartment buildings or even cordoned off a neighbourhood once a resident tests Covid-19 positive, causing great inconvenience to the people.

Several regions in China had been under lockdown for more than three months, and people blamed the lockdown for the deaths.

The Chinese police have even barricaded a street in Shanghai where protesters have gathered for the last two nights in anticipation of further rallies against the government's rigid policies to tackle Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Protesters want the Chinese government to lift the lockdown. Meanwhile, some groups decried censorship and called for democracy and an end to the rule of President Xi Jinping.


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