China uses coronavirus as cover to detain dissidents, activists say

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In central Hubei province, police said prisoners serving their prison terms must be released within 24 hours, according to Shanghai Observer, a state-controlled news site.

The Paper, a government-run news site in Shanghai, quoted Sichuan Province police officials as saying that prisoners should be released “according to the law” after undergoing a 14-day quarantine at the time. inside the prison and a physical exam that includes a nucleic acid test for the coronavirus, blood tests and a CT scan.

Jiang Jiawen, 65 – the sacked worker mentioned by Chinese human rights activists who called for resisting the Communist Party – served a one-and-a-half-year sentence in March for “picking up quarrels and causing trouble” . In July, he was on his way to meet a friend at a train station in Beijing when he was attacked by state security agents.

They took him to a detention center and interrogated him, Mr. Jiang said. Then they told him that he needed to be quarantined, and they took him to a hotel room in the northern city of Dandong, more than 800 kilometers away. The room had iron bars on the door and windows. Two policemen and two government officials were watching outside.

No one took his temperature during the 14-day quarantine, Mr. Jiang said. Officials first asked him to pay the $ 17 a day for the quarantine, he said, but he refused.

“They just want to find a reason to detain us,” Jiang said. “The epidemic gave them a good reason.”

Ding Yajun, a 51-year-old woman who had protested the forced demolition of her house, was released from prison on May 11 in northern Harbin city after serving a three-year sentence, also for “To have picked up quarrels and caused trouble. When she was in prison, officials rubbed her throat, took a blood test, and quarantined her.

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