In November 2022, police in Zhengzhou, China beat workers protesting over working conditions and pay at Foxconn, the biggest factory for iPhones, as the country’s Covid-19 cases hit a new daily high. In video footage, police were shown kicking and hitting a protester with clubs after he grabbed a metal pole that had been used to strike him.
Thousands of employees had walked away from Foxconn following complaints about unsafe working conditions and amid severe frustration over Covid restrictions in various areas across China.
Right to justice
In China, independent labour advocates Wang Jianbing and Huang Xueqin were taken away by unidentified public security officers at Guangzhou airport on 19 September 2021. Since their arrest, their location has remained unknown. Wang had been organising pneumoconiosis workers, as well as family members of the victims of this occupational disease, which affects the lungs.
Shortly after their arrest, public security searched their apartment and summoned around 40 persons related to Wang and Huang for details of Wang’s activist networks, and worker gatherings. His parents in Tianshui, Gansu province, were threatened by public security not to speak about their son’s situation. His family were later informed that Wang was charged with inciting subversion of state power and was detained at Guangzhou No. 1 Detention Center. The lawyer hired by Wang’s family was not given access to Wang until 1st April 2022, through a virtual meeting with his client. According to the lawyer, Wang has been put in solitary confinement for five months and was transferred to the above detention centre only in March 2022. He suffers from poor health, mental torment and depression as a result of months of solitary confinement.