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  • By The Financial District

China Censors 'Voices of April' Video, Sparks Protests By Millions

China has its hands full censoring a six-minute video that details the travails of 25-million residents of Shanghai, with citizens disseminating the video as censors take them down until late Saturday, Nectar Gan reported for CNN early on Monday.

Photo Insert: "Voices of April" is a video documenting the harsh impact of Shanghai's nearly month-long lockdown.

The shouts of locked-down residents demanding basic necessities, the cries of babies separated from their parents in quarantine, the pleas of a son repeatedly rejected by hospitals to treat his critically ill father, and the sobs of an exhausted local official who admits there is "no good policy" coming from higher authorities for her to explain to residents illustrate the woes of citizens who have been placed under lockdown for weeks.

These voices, charged with raw frustration, agony and desperation, are among the montage of audio recordings featured in "Voices of April," a video documenting the harsh impact of Shanghai's nearly month-long lockdown.

The city-wide lockdown, among the strictest the country has seen, has plunged the once-bustling international financial hub into a virtual ghost town, causing shortages of food, daily necessities, and even medical access for many of its 25 million residents confined to their homes.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The personal plights told in residents' own voices and coupled with black-and-white aerial footage of the city's skyline and empty streets, touched the hearts of millions of Chinese internet users as the video spread like wildfire across social media platforms on Friday evening.

But for the government, the six-minute clip — and the chaos and suffering it exposes — is too powerful a reminder of the human cost of its zero-COVID policy, which authorities insist is "putting the people and their lives first."

Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

Censors quickly stepped in, taking down the film as well as any references to it from China's internet. On the microblogging site Weibo, even the word "April" was temporarily restricted from search results. The censorship sparked an outcry.

Many were infuriated at the attempt by authorities to wipe out what they see as an objective documentation of the darker reality of the lockdown — one that can rarely be found in state media.

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