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UK Foreign Office summons Chinese ambassador over reports of arrest, alleged beating of BBC journalist

UK Foreign Office summons Chinese ambassador over reports of arrest, alleged beating of BBC journalist
Diplomatic row over incident during anti-lockdown protests continues, with UK government calling treatment of journalist 'unacceptable'

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – The British Foreign Office has summoned China’s ambassador to London, Zheng Zeguang, amid a diplomatic row sparked by the arrest and alleged beating of a BBC journalist in Shanghai during a protest, according to a government source.

Edward Lawrence was detained at the main COVID-19 lockdown protest in Shanghai on Sunday and held for several hours before being freed, according to a report by the BBC.

The broadcaster said that cameraman Lawrence was “handcuffed” while covering demonstrations and was then “beaten and kicked” by police.

“The BBC has been clear one of their journalists was detained and beaten by police when covering these protests. We have made it clear this behavior by the Chinese authorities is completely unacceptable,” said a source at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

"It is very worrying that one of our journalists was attacked in this way whilst carrying out his duties,” the BBC said.

The UK government on Monday condemned the treatment of Lawrence as “shocking and unacceptable.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly wrote on Twitter: “Media freedom and freedom to protest must be respected. No country is exempt. The arrest of BBC journalist EP Lawrence in China is deeply disturbing. Journalists must be able to do their job without intimidation.”


source: News Feed
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