Video has emerged appearing to show riot police in China bowling over protesters marching in opposition to China’s strict COVID-19 lockdown measures.
The video, which was shared on Sept. 3, purports to show police in the Chinese city of Wuhan beating crowds of protesters as they charged down a city street. Officers could be seen pushing one man over and waving batons while protesters screamed and fled in the other direction.
Authorities in China’s Hubei Province imposed new lockdown measures in parts of the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Wuhan was the city where the first cases of COVID-19 were documented. Some researchers believe the virus originated from so-called “wet markets” in the city, where vendors slaughter and sell animals, including some exotic species,’ for human consumption. Others believe the virus may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The footage of police in Wuhan would not be the first time Chinese authorities have used harsh methods to enforce lockdowns. In April, several videos posted online showed Chinese police in white hazmat-style suits beating residents in Shanghai who had defied COVID-19 lockdown measures.
China has used other methods to enforce its strict “Zero-COVID” strategy. Residents of various Chinese cities have been forced to stay inside their homes or have even been kept in isolation cells to stop them from spreading COVID-19.
Other videos taken in Shanghai in April showed people screaming en masse after being isolated in their homes for a week. Residents stuck in their homes have reportedly struggled with hunger.
Local Chinese authorities have also flown drones equipped with speakers throughout their cities, to broadcast lockdown instructions and warnings for people who violate such containment measures.
At a key meeting of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed his support for the strict Zero-COVID policies.
China’s strict COVID lockdown measures have led to some unrest and have contributed to a slowdown in China’s economic growth. While China’s economy is still growing, a recent World Bank assessment found that China’s growth rate fell behind that of other Asian nations with less strict lockdown policies.