Photograph of Achok Township.

Tibetans Arrested over COVID lockdown protest

Despite the Chinese government’s announcement, some local authorities in Tibet are not easing zero-COVID restrictions.

Local authorities in Achok Township, Chongchi County, have refused to ease repressive zero-COVID restrictions, despite a national proclamation from the Chinese government. On 10 December 2022, Tibetans from Achok protested the refusal outside of a local police station, which led to roughly 10 arrests.

Initially, community leaders attempted to engage with local authorities to lift the COVID restrictions, however after their requests were denied the community was left with no choice but to protest. High school students were at the forefront of the protest action and, following an exchange where they threatened to write to central authorities, clashed with police resulting in a number of injuries.

It is reported that authorities are continuing to enforce zero-COVID restrictions in both Achok Township and Serdie Township in the Ngawa Autonomous Prefecture, which is governed as part of Sichuan Province. This is despite the fact that COVID restrictions have been lifted, either wholly or partially, across Tibet.

Due to restrictions in communication and state surveillance, the whereabouts and wellbeing of the arrested Tibetans is unknown.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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