The BBC has said one of its journalists in China was arrested and beaten by police while covering protests on Sunday against the country’s zero-Covid policy..
“The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
Lawrence, working in the country as an accredited journalist, was detained for several hours, during which time he was beaten and kicked by police, according to the BBC
Lawrence tweeted on Monday to thank his followers, adding he believed “at least one local national was arrested after trying to stop the police from beating me”.
“We have had no official explanation or apology from the Chinese authorities, beyond a claim by the officials who later released him that they had arrested him for his own good in case he caught Covid from the crowd,” the statement added.
China’s foreign ministry said Monday that Lawrence had not identified himself as a journalist.
“Based on what we learned from relevant Shanghai authorities, he did not identify himself as a journalist and didn’t voluntarily present his press credentials,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, telling international media to “follow Chinese laws and regulations while in China”.
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