BBC journalist beaten and arrested by Chinese police during protests
By Jerry Dunleavy
28 November 2022
A journalist with the BBC was beaten and arrested by Chinese police in Shanghai while covering the anti-lockdown protests that have swept China in response to the government’s harsh “Zero COVID” policies.
A viral video Sunday showed reporter Ed Lawrence pulled to the ground and arrested by at least four uniformed police officers with the help of at least one undercover or plainclothes officer dressed in black as protesters chanted, while another video showed Lawrence being dragged away by two masked police and one officer in black, with the reporter yelling, “Call the consulate now!”
“The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai. He was held for several hours before being released. During his arrest, he was beaten and kicked by police,” the BBC said in a Sunday statement. “This happened while he was working as an accredited journalist. It is very worrying that one of our journalists was attacked in this way whilst carrying out his duties.”
The BBC added: “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 him arrested for his own good in case he caught Covid from the crowd. We do not consider this a credible explanation.”