On video: Demonstrations against the corona restrictions in China (Reuters)
Chinese security forces arrested people who participated in a demonstration against the restrictions of the Corona virus, as part of the authorities' effort to suppress the protest that broke out three days ago across the country.
In addition, according to reports, the authorities have increased their efforts to censor what is happening in the country, including deleting images on cell phones.
In Shanghai, an AFP reporter yesterday witnessed police escorting three people away from the demonstration, while others prevented bystanders from taking pictures of the incident and the demonstration.
When the reporter asked a police officer why one of the people was removed from the demonstration, the answer was "he did not obey the arrangements", before the reporter was referred to the local authorities.
Police in Shanghai did not respond to questions about the number of people arrested.
A policeman asks a citizen to delete the photos on her phone (photo: screenshot, Twitter)
A long line of blue barriers has been placed on roads in Shanghai that intersect at the intersection, where protesters have gathered.
Buses and police cars were parked near the location of the demonstration, ready to take protesters into custody.
Official censors rushed to purge social media in China of any news about the protests.
Searches such as "Liangma River" or "Urumqi Road" - sites where protesters gathered in Beijing and Shanghai - were deleted on the Weibo platform, also known as "China's Twitter".
Moreover, according to the BBC's Ed Lawrence, who was arrested earlier, police stopped people in the street and forced them to delete photos related to the protests from their phones.
The state newspaper "People's Daily" published a commentary this morning in which it warned against "paralysis" and "battle attrition" in the fight against Corona - but did not call for an end to President Xi Jinping's tough "Zero Corona" policy.
The protest erupted following a deadly apartment fire in Orochi, the capital of Xinjiang province, in which at least ten people were killed.
The residents claimed that the strict restrictions against the corona made it difficult for the emergency services to reach the scene and made it difficult for them to escape.
City officials held a press conference in which they denied the allegations.
Many of the four million residents of Urumqi are under a lockdown - the longest in the country - and have not been able to leave their homes for a hundred days.
Beijing blamed "alternatively motivated forces" for igniting the protest.
In recent days, the number of new corona cases in China has also jumped, which led to tightening of closures instead of expected reliefs.
Asia and the Pacific