The authorities in China are seeking to end protests against COVID-19 restrictions that spread to some of its biggest cities over the weekend.
Police are out in force and it’s unclear whether further protests will take place on Monday evening. Several people were detained in Shanghai earlier at a site that saw protests on two consecutive nights and police erected barriers.
Large crowds took to the streets in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere at the weekend to protest against China’s zero-COVID policy, which features mass testing and snap lockdowns.
The demonstrations are an unprecedented challenge to President Xi Jinping, with some calling on him to resign.
The BBC said it’s extremely concerned about the treatment of one of its journalists, who was beaten and arrested by police while covering the protests – and later released.
Protests against COVID-19 restrictions in China intensified in the wake of a fire which killed 10 people in an apartment block in Urumqi.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Shanghai to remember the victims and demonstrate against restrictions. Many were heard calling for President Xi Jinping to resign. The lockdown of blocks of flats has been blamed for deaths in the fire.
While Chinese authorities deny it was the cause, officials in Urumqi did issue an unusual apology late on Friday, and pledged to “restore order” by phasing out restrictions.
Footage posted on social media also showed students at Nanjing Communications University holding a vigil for the victims.