BBC 'extremely concerned' for journalist after being arrested during China Covid protest

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The BBC issued a statement after Edward Lawrence was arrested while covering the ongoing protests against Covid measures in China. The broadcaster said the cameraman was “beaten and kicked” while in police custody adding it is “extremely concerned” over his treatment. A spokesperson said Mr Lawrence was “arrested and handcuffed” whilst covering the protests in Shanghai. A shocking video captured the moment the journalist was wrestled to the ground by multiple police officers and dragged away.

They continued: “He was held for several hours before being released. During his arrest, he was beaten and kicked by police.

“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 protests began on Friday after a fire broke out and killed at least 10 people in an apartment building in the city of Urumqi in the northwest, where some have been locked in their homes for four months.

People in China are protesting over the county’s strict Covid lockdowns as many cities return to the method in a bid to control rising cases.

In Urumqi, around four million residents have been unable to leave their homes since August.

The government has made no comment on the protests but has reaffirmed its “zero-Covid” policy which aims to isolate every infected person to keep case numbers low.

On Monday, the number of new daily cases rose to 40,347, including 36,525 with no symptoms.

READ MORE: China chaos as riots erupt in factory after Covid outbreak

Protesters have begun to turn on President Xi Jinping, calling for him to resign over the measures.

In a video that was verified by The Associated Press, a crowd in Shanghai on Saturday chanted, “Xi Jinping! Step down! CCP! Step down!”

Police using pepper spray drove away demonstrators in Shanghai who called for Xi Jinping to step down and an end to one-party rule, but hours later people rallied again in the same spot. Police again broke up the demonstration, and a reporter saw protesters under arrest being driven away in a bus.

The protests began on Friday after a fire broke out and killed at least 10 people in an apartment building in the city of Urumqi in the northwest, where some have been locked in their homes for four months.



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