On 7 December 2022, The Rights Practice signed a joint statement, along with 48 other organisations, to call on the Chinese government to abide by both domestic and international law and cease detaining and harassing peaceful protesters. Chinese authorities should respect peoples’ basic rights to privacy, freedom of expression, press, association and peaceful assembly. 

Over the past week, peaceful rallies and protests triggered by mourning the victims of the fatal fire in Urumqi have spread in a number of cities in China. People took to the streets to express their frustration with the severe lockdowns measures brought about by the zero-COVID policy. Some held white sheets of paper, expressed their discontent with the government or appealed for their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Although some local governments have announced relaxed quarantine measures in an attempt to calm the protests, we understand that the Chinese authorities are at the same time cracking down on protesters across the country, and that some of those arrested have gone missing and are feared to have been forcibly disappeared. 

Read the full statement: Stop violent crackdown and arrests of peaceful protesters