A BBC reporter covering protests against covid lockdowns is arrested and beaten in China

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The British media group BBC denounced it one of its reporters in China was “detainedbeaten and kicked by the police”, as he recounted the protests in Shanghai against the anti-covid policy which provides for extensive lockdowns.

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“BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our reporter Ed Lawrencewho was arrested and handcuffed while covering protests in Shanghai,” a BBC spokesman said in a written statement sent to AFP news agency.

He added that Lawrence “he was beaten and kicked by the police” during the several hours of detention, despite being an accredited journalist in the country.

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Hundreds of people demonstrated over the weekend in various Chinese cities against the lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the authorities in the fight against Covid-19.

UK Business Secretary Grant Shapps described as “unacceptable” and “worrying” facts of reported violence. “Whatever happens, freedom of the press must be sacrosanct,” the minister told private LBC radio.

This was stated by the BBC spokesman the outlet has not received “any explanation or apology from the Chinese authoritiesapart from the assertion of the agents, who then released him, that they detained him for his own good in case he caught the covid from the crowd”.

“We don’t consider that a credible explanation,” he added. Lawrence tweeted Monday to thank his supporters, adding that at least one Chinese citizen “was arrested after trying to stop police beating me.”

The journalist then returned to the site of the protests, according to videos he posted on his Twitter page. China’s foreign ministry said Lawrence did not identify himself as a journalist.

“Based on what we know from relevant authorities in Shanghai, he did not identify himself as a journalist and did not voluntarily show his press accreditation,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, urging international media to “follow Chinese laws and regulations.” when in China”.

Source: Clarin

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