The journalist of the BBC Edward Lawrence has been “hit and kicked by the Police” before being arrested while covering a protest against the confinement in China.
The British broadcasting corporation has stated that it is “very concerned” after confirming that the cameraman “was attacked” in Shanghai this Sundayas shown by some images on social networks in whichPolice officers dragged the handcuffed journalist along the ground.
“The BBC is very concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai,” a BBC spokesperson said.
The station has added that the Lawrence, who is now free, has been held for several hours. “During his detention he was beaten and kicked by the police. This occurred while he was working as an accredited journalist, ”explained the BBC spokesman.
“It is very worrying that one of our journalists has been attacked in this way in the performance of his duties,” added the spokesman, speaking to British broadcaster LBC.
In this sense, the BBC has criticized that the corporation has not received any official explanation or apology from the authorities, “beyond a statement by the officials in which they stated that they had been arrested for their own good in the event that he caught the coronavirus in the crowd.”
“We do not consider this to be a credible explanation,” said the station’s spokesman.
Lawrence, who works for the corporation at the Beijing headquarters, He traveled to Shanghai on the occasion of the massive protests that were called in the city.
As the journalist himself published on his Twitter profile, the Police were blocking the roads and not letting people pass, after the crowd increased. “I have seen the Police arrest three people, two of whom confronted the officers. There is a silent tension until one person screams, then the crowd sings and claps in support, ”he explained after noting that the protests were peaceful with a large amount of police control.
Hundreds of people demonstrated on Sunday in various cities of Chinawhere indignation grows against the draconian policy of “zero covid” imposed by the authorities for almost three years.
In Shanghai, a city of more than 25 million people and which endured a two-month lockdown this year that caused food shortages, hundreds of people marched silently through the center of the megalopolis.
As a witness explained to AFP, The protesters held up blank sheets of paper – a gesture that has become a symbol of protest against censorship in China. and white flowers.
Hours earlier, a crowd gathered near the street wulumuqi -the name in mandarin of the city of urumqi– with people shouting “Xi Jinping, resign, resign!” in a rare show of rejection of the Chinese president, according to a video released by social networks and geolocated by AFP.
In Urumqi, in the Xinjiang region (west), ten people died in a fire on Thursday. The incident generated outrage on social networks, considering that the confinements complicated the rescue of the victims.
On Sunday night, between 300 and 400 people were gathered for several hours at banks of a river in Beijing. Some shouted: “We are all the people of Xinjiang! Come on, people of China!”
AFP journalists watched as the crowd sang the national anthem and listened to speeches, while a line of police cars stood on the other side of the canal.
Protests were also organized in the city of Wuhan, in the center of the country, where the first cases of coronavirus were detected. A crowd of outraged people demonstrated there, according to videos broadcast live on social networks and geolocated by AFP.
Earlier, hundreds of students from the prestigious Tsinghua University, in Beijing, demonstrated on the campusaccording to a witness contacted by AFP and videos published on the networks.
The witness recounted that around 11:30 a.m. (0330 GMT), a student brandished a blank sheet of paper and other women joined her.
“We sang the anthem and the International and shouted ‘freedom will triumph’, ‘no to the tests’, ‘we want food’, ‘no to confinement, we want freedom’”, added the witness.
At Peking University, close to Tsinghua University, a vigil was also held in memory of the victims of the Urumqi fire. According to a student who participated, the protests started on Saturday night and between 100 and 200 people gathered.
According to other recordings, there were demonstrations in Chengdu and Canton (south), but the AFP could not authenticate the images independently.
The protests take place in the midst of the population’s weariness due to the government’s zero-tolerance strategy with the covid.
China It is the last major economy that maintains the “zero covid” strategy, with confinements, extensive quarantines and massive tests to eradicate sources of infection as soon as they appear.
On Sunday, China registered 39,506 local infections of covid-19, a record number for this country of 1.4 billion people.
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