London calls on Beijing to respect press freedom

The United Kingdom has expressed its displeasure following the arrest of a British BBC journalist covering protests against China’s ‘zero Covid’ policy. He was reportedly beaten by the authorities before being released.

The United Kingdom protested strongly on Monday after the arrest and police brutality suffered by one of its journalists covering the BBC, according to historical protests against politics draconian”
zero covid
in China, a new incident in a tense relationship between London and Beijing.

“Very concerned of the treatment accorded Ed Lawrence, the BBC claimed its reporter had been
arrested and handcuffed while covering protests in Shanghai
According to a spokesperson for the British audiovisual giant, “he was beaten and beaten by the police before they are released.

A “deeply worrying” arrest

Freedom of the press and freedom of demonstration must be respected
», «
no country is exempt
“, responded the British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly.

Calling on Twitter for the arrest of Ed Lawrence as “
deeply disturbing
“, the head of British diplomacy emphasized that “
journalists must be able to carry out their work without intimidation

Triggered by mobilizing against the imposed confinements and restrictions by the authorities to combat the coronavirus epidemic, the anger brewing in China seems unprecedented since the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989.

This incident occurs in a tense context between Beijing and Londonin the face of strong criticism from the United Kingdom, particularly about China’s takeover of Hong Kong and recent incidents on British soil.

Arrested “for his own good”

British Prime Minister Rishi is due to make his first major foreign policy speech on Monday night, arguing that Britain must defend strengthen its values ​​of freedom and opennessespecially against China and Russia.

The arrest of the journalist and the violence condemned by the BBC is “
“, condemned the British business minister Grant Shapps, a guest on the British morning shows on Monday. “
Freedom of the press must be sacred
“, he declared on private radio LBC.

The BBC explained that it had only had
no official explanation or apology from the Chinese authorities, other than a claim by officials who later released him that they arrested him for his own good in case he caught Covid (in the middle of) the crowd

We do not consider it a credible explanation.
“, emphasized the spokesman for the BBC. “
At least one (Chinese) national was arrested after trying to stop the police from beating me
Mr. Lawrence tweeted Monday. The journalist later returned to the scene of the protest, according to videos posted on his Twitter account.

Reporters Without Borders supports journalists in China

Beijing assured Monday that Ed Lawrence did not identify himself as a journalist.”
and voluntarily did not present his press accreditation
“, according to Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is asking foreign media to”
comply with Chinese laws and regulations when (while staying) in China

The NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the arrest on Twitter and expressed its support for “
anyone practicing fact-based journalism in China

The British Secretary of State for Security, Tom Tugendhat, saw in this affair an echo of “
“which the Chinese Communist Party is trying to implement”
“. “
Attempted state repression here in the UK reminds us of the urgent need to defend our own liberties
“, he tweeted.

The United Kingdom has recently been characterized by the violence suffered by a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist at the Chinese consulate in Manchester (North) and according to information from a Spanish NGO, according to which Beijing has opened underground police stations in several Western countriesespecially on British soil.

Tom Tugendhat announced in early November in Parliament that British police were investigating the case. “
Any foreign country operating in the UK must follow UK law
“, he had declared and emphasized that “
no attempt to illegally repatriate nationals will be tolerated

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