Criticizing Shanghai’s Lockdown Policy Brings Police Harassment

By Mary Hong
Mary Hong
Mary Hong
Mary Hong has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2020. She has reported on Chinese human rights issues and politics.
June 14, 2022Updated: June 14, 2022

The Chinese Communist Party’s strict zero-COVID policy for China has caused many disasters to its populace. Amid mounting public criticism, the regime has adopted tactics to deal with any opposition, resulting in further human rights abuses by the CCP on top of its disastrous pandemic policies.

Recently, at least three citizens have been arrested and harassed by their local authorities over their expressing their personal experience of Shanghai’s pandemic policies online.

‘Judicial Authentication’

Ji Xiaolong, a Shanghai resident, received a police notice on June 10 notifying him that his online post was under “judicial authentication.”

As an outspoken civil rights activist, Ji has been regularly visited by his local police in recent years due to his interviews with foreign press, such as Radio Free Asia, NTD, Radio France Internationale, and Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

“The police have locked all my posts for evidence to bring charges against me,” Ji explained to the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times on June 10.

Ji said that half a dozen police came to his home on June 4 to escort him to the police station for interrogation.

On June 5, he described in a post how he was treated at the police station, “In a dark room, the officer (badge number 058794) threatened me with a gun and handcuffed me until 8 a.m. in the morning.”

Seeking an End to Lockdowns

On April 2, Ji posted a petition on Chinese social media Weibo and WeChat, as well as Twitter, calling “for a halt to the pandemic control policy, for the distribution of aid, and for the resignation of officials who had failed their duty to remedy the unfolding disasters.”

An IT professional by trade, Ji has for many years aspired to speak out against the human rights abuse in China. He was just been released on Feb. 9 from three years and six months imprisonment over the crime of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”—a typical charge used by the one-party state apparatus on activists in China.

He was jailed over his “Public Restroom Revolution”—handwriting slogans such as “Down the Chinese Communist Party” and “Return Power to the People” on restroom doors in hospitals and colleges.

When asked what motivates him to risk his life speaking up to the regime, Ji said, “In my eyes, I only see the Shanghai people. In the beginning, I heard people crying, complaining. But now … in every community in Shanghai, behind every door and window, many of them are on the verge of death.”

Postings on Social Media Priority for Police

A social media post by Shanghai resident Song Jiahong on the ruling party’s pandemic policies made him a target for the police, including for the law enforcement officers in an urban district more than 25 miles away.

In his post, Song questioned the motivation behind the regime’s mass PCR tests. “Is it scientific, or is it for the officials to save face?” he asked.

He said that two police from Huangpu District, more than 25 miles away, visited his home in the suburban Songjiang District on June 9.

Song rejected the police’s request to question him, saying that he was not under the jurisdiction of Huangpu District.

The police demanded to check his cell phone and asked if he had any interactions with the press.

Epoch Times Photo
Residents confront a representative about opening up their compound in Jing’an district in Shanghai on May 25, 2022. (AP Photo)

He said the same police station has repeatedly dispatched police to his home, but he rejected their requests each time.

“What’s even more bizarre is that my local police station knew nothing about it,” Song said.

Forced Psychiatric Detention

Ding Yan, born in the 1980s, is an owner of a barbecue restaurant in Nanjing City.

On the early morning of May 11, she posted to social media an open letter addressed to communist party leader Xi Jinping. That evening, the police sent her to a local mental hospital.

She’s been missing since that day, even though hospital records say that she was dismissed on June 1.

This is the 12th time that Ding has been detained by the authorities in a mental institution.

Previously, Ding had spoken out about Wuhan’s mass lockdown. She blamed Xi for the cruel lockdown policy. She also criticized Tencent’s founder Pony Ma for blocking WeChat accounts to assist with the regime’s censorship.

Mr. Zhang, a Shanghai resident, expressed sorrow for Ding’s situation.

“She had a false hope in the regime,” he said of her letter writing. “But the regime is to tackle the person who brings up the issue, rather than the issue itself.”

Li Xi contributed to this report.