The BBC criticized the Chinese government after one of its journalists was “beaten and kicked by the police” while being arrested while he covered the anti-government blockade protests in Shanghai. But Beijing responded to the British media organization on Monday by saying its story was bullshit.
In its statement late Sunday, the BBC said it was “extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests.” in Shanghai,” where China’s largest protest against . took place by President Xi Jinping Strict COVID control measures have been taken. The BBC added that it was “very disturbing that one of our journalists was attacked in this way while on duty.”
Video of Lawrence’s arrest shows law enforcement officials pinning the journalist to the ground before he is led away in handcuffs. The broadcaster said Lawrence was held for several hours before being released.
But at a regular news conference in Beijing on Monday, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told reporters that the BBC’s account of what happened was untrue. “To our knowledge, the BBC’s statement is untrue,” Zhao Lijian said, according to Reuters. “According to the authorities in Shanghai, the journalist in question did not reveal his journalistic identity at the time, he did not publicly present his foreign journalist card.”
Lijian added: “When the incident happened, law enforcement officers asked people to leave, and when some people did not cooperate, they were taken away from the scene.”
The shocking incident drew condemnation from British officials and press freedom advocates. British Foreign Secretary: “The arrest of BBC journalist Ed Lawrence in China is extremely worrying.” James is smart speak. “Journalists must be able to do their jobs without being intimidated.”
In a separate statement, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China added that it was “deeply disappointed and frustrated by the increasing barriers to foreign journalists operating in China and the aggressive of the police to them.”
Earlier Monday, Lawrence tweeted a message thanking supporters for “kind words and caring messages.” He also highlighted the case of Swiss journalist Michael Peuker, who was also briefly detained while covering a similar protest in Shanghai on Sunday. his shop, RTSsaid in a report that Peuker and his cameraman were arrested before a “local police official” negotiated with officers to secure their release.
The journalists’ arrests come amid the most serious outcry against China’s ruling communist party in decades. Anger at Beijing’s assertiveness”no-COVID“Policies that continue to confine millions of residents to their homes during full-scale lockdowns, have led to nationwide protests. Rage over pandemic control measures reached a new high last week when 10 people died in a city apartment fire. Urumqi in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. Accusations spread on social media that the lockdown measures contributed to last Thursday’s terrible death toll.