from YAO YUANHUI in Guangzhou, China
China Special Correspondent
GUANGZHOU – CHINA, the source of the coronavirus (COVID-19), has been urged to end the discriminatory treatment of Africans related to the pandemic.
The call by human rights groups comes after authorities in the southern city began a campaign to forcibly test Africans for the virus and ordered them to self-isolate or to quarantine.
Guangzhou is in the Guangdong province, which has China’s largest African community, with 14 000 of these foreign nationals.
It is reported landlords have evicted African residents, forcing many to sleep on the street.
Other Africans reported police and local officials had harassed them.
Some restaurants reportedly refused to serve African customers food.
Yaqiu Wang, China researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said this trend was contrary to Chinese authorities’ claim of ‘zero tolerance’ for discrimination.
“What they are doing to Africans in Guangzhou is a textbook case of just that,” Wang said.
“Beijing should immediately investigate and hold accountable all officials and others responsible for discriminatory treatment.”
China has pledged to investigate the reports, which have strained relations with African continent.
Some Africans have demanded evacuation from the Asian country.
Several African countries have summoned Chinese ambassadors to protest such rampant racism.
Kenya was scheduled to fly out its citizens stranded in China.
Carine Kaneza Nantulya, Africa advocacy director at HRW, said African governments must urge China to cease all discrimination against Africans and investigate immediately the allegations leveled against the culprits.
“African governments should also press China to enforce measures to prevent discrimination in the future,” she said.
COVID-19 was first detected in China at the end of 2019.
It has claimed the lives of more than 200 000 people from over 3 million infections worldwide.
– CAJ News