According to the Guardian, Xinjiang authorities is trying to censor its residents’ social media posts asking for food and the complaints about medical shortages.

Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture is home to 4.5 million residents and is one of five Xinjiang’s autonomous prefectures. The area has been under lockdown for over a month. 

Recently, its struggling residents have posted comments on social media platforms to complain about medical and food shortages and ask for help. 

The Guardian cited a leaked directive released by the China Digital Times, reporting that authorities ordered its army of internet trolls to “open a campaign of comment flooding” to dilute those comments.

Internet trolls are advised to post non-COVID-related content to distract from those who are asking for help.  

According to a China Digital Times’s translation, the directive says, “Content may include domestic life, daily parenting, cooking, or personal moods. All internet commentary personnel should post once an hour (twice in total), but not in rapid succession! Repeat: not in rapid succession!”

But the reactions from internet users are quite the opposite; as one of them said, “All these posts about Yili scenery and food are coming from alternate accounts. Nice job, g*v*rm*nt. Have you ever heard of maintaining a shred of dignity?” 

During the lockdown, many tragedies happened in Ili Kazakh as the authorities strictly enforced its COVID-controlled measures. 

The Guardian reported that hospital sent pregnant women home, or a woman and her newborn baby were denied entry after delivering the baby at the hospital.

The South China Morning Post reported that one internet user said a family member died of intestinal obstruction because doctors refused to perform the operation.

Last week, after a massive online outcry about food shortage, its officials apologized and pledged to deliver food and medical access to its residents. 

Under a strict zero-COVID policy, as more new COVID cases are reported, more cities and districts are placed under lockdown. As a result, many Chinese people are now starving because the regime keeps shutting down cities and transportation, making it hard to get food.Under its partial or complete lockdown, tens of millions in at least 30 places have been told to stay home.

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