On June 2, nine governmental bodies of Fangchenggang city in China’s southwestern province of Guangxi jointly issued the official epidemic control notice on their Chinese social media accounts. They include the Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Public Security Bureau, and the Dongxing Customs Anti-Smuggling Branch.
Article 6 in the notice stated that anyone infected with COVID-19 or those who help infected individuals cross the border without permission will be charged with endangering public safety, which is punishable by death, fines, and the confiscation of property.
The policy was met with outrage on social media and the notice subsequently deleted from the official accounts of the local authorities on June 3. Netizens questioned the appropriateness of the death penalty and whether local governments have the right to convict and sentence someone to death.
One post read, “Is there any legal basis for it?”