Report: Shanghai Woman Says Police Left Rotting Body of Neighbor Leaning on Front Door
( Breitbart )
A post on Chinese government-controlled social network Weibo began circulating this week, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Wednesday, alleging that authorities in Shanghai had repeatedly ignored calls from a multifamily building to take away an older man suspected of having died of starvation during the past month’s coronavirus lockdowns.
The post was written from the perspective of an alleged neighbor, a woman who said she and others in the building had been calling the Communist Party neighborhood watch since April 19 with concerns about the man and did not receive sufficient responses. Neighborhood watch authorities reportedly investigated the man’s apartment on May 1 and found him dead, but left him there the next day. The writer on Weibo claimed that she saw the man’s door propped open and his body leaning on the side of the door, emitting a strong smell of decay.
RFA, the Epoch Times, and Taiwan’s Liberty Times newspaper have all reported on the incident in Chinese text, though it appears to not have made it to English-language news sources at press time. All report that Chinese censors appeared to attempt to remove the post from Weibo but outraged users kept reposting it. Copies of the post, along with the photo claiming to be of the man’s front door, have also circulated on Western social media outlets like Twitter.
Shanghai has technically been under a strict Chinese coronavirus lockdown since April 5, consisting of a round-the-clock order for all residents to stay in their homes – effectively, under house arrest – and trust that Communist Party officials would provide food, medicine, and other basic needs. Shanghai residents have increasingly expressed their ire online, sharing stories of running out of food, being offered small amounts of rotting food by Party officials, and questioning the logic of the lockdown. Chinese officials claim the lockdown is necessary to contain an outbreak of the omicron variant of Chinese coronavirus, which most experts believe causes less severe infections than the original alpha variant of Chinese coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
RFA reported that the 58-year-old found dead in his apartment lived alone and depended on neighbors to bring him food, according to the Weibo post. The writer of the post claimed that she, along with other residents of the building, helped with leaving food and supplies outside his door. The writer also provided a home address for the building as an attempt to corroborate the story: 1222 Chang Le Street, Jing’An district, Shanghai.
On April 19, the author of the Weibo post wrote that she had tried to deliver food and heard the man on the other side of the door say that he could not get up. The neighbors noticed that the man did not come down from his fifth floor apartment during mandatory coronavirus testing, which took place five times before the neighborhood watch finally came to find him dead.
The neighbors urged the neighborhood watch on several occasions to go to his apartment but did not receive the necessary attention until after they started noticing a smell of decay, the Weibo post claimed. When they found his body, he reportedly appeared to have been dead for some time, and had clearly lost significant weight since they had last seen him, suggesting that he starved to death.
Liberty Times claimed the post added that the government officials failed to organize a timely funeral service “and even got the old man’s name wrong.” They reportedly removed the body from the scene on May 2.
The Epoch Times reported that it had reached out to government officials but had not received back any comment on the alleged incident.
The newspaper noted that some Weibo users replied to the post with dark humor, joking that the government was treating living people like corpses, so total negligence of the dead made sense. The jokes appeared to be referencing a story breaking this week, which the Chinese government confirmed to be true, of a Shanghai morgue finding a living man inside a body bag transferred to its workers. Communist authorities appeared to admit to the mistake – government health workers allegedly believed the man to be dead – because an eyewitness filmed funeral workers with the body bag and posted the video online.
The state-run Global Times newspaper claimed that six Communist Party authorities have received some form of punishment for the incident as of May 2.
Internet users began compiling a list of individuals believed to have been killed by government negligence or incompetence since the lockdown began, circulating it in late April while censors attempted to suppress it. The list included the names of people who died of treatable medical conditions because hospitals rejected them for care and individuals who committed suicide out of depression and exasperation under lockdown.
The Chinese government has yet to indicate when it will end the Shanghai lockdown. Last week, state media published some articles claiming that coronavirus case numbers were dwindling and that normalcy would return soon, but the Global Times followed up that coverage with a vow to “stand firm” on lockdowns for the indefinite future.
Shanghai is China’s largest city and its economic capital.