International Secretary James Cleverly on Monday described the incident as “deeply disturbing” and Cupboard colleague Grant Shapps stated it was of “appreciable concern”, after the BBC stated Edward Lawrence was “attacked” in Shanghai.
The broadcaster stated the cameraman was “arrested and handcuffed” whereas protecting demonstrations over China’s Covid-19 restrictions, after which “crushed and kicked” by police.
Freedom of press and freedom to report ought to be sacrosanct
Mr Shapps informed Sky Information: “There will be completely no excuse in any way for journalists who’re merely protecting the method happening, for being crushed by the police.
“I do know that’s (of) appreciable concern.”
The Enterprise Secretary additionally informed LBC radio: “Freedom of press and freedom to report ought to be sacrosanct.”
He stated it was “unacceptable” for journalists to be “caught up and concerned and certainly arrested” when they need to be “absolutely entitled to cowl issues freely”.
Mr Cleverly tweeted: “Media freedom and freedom to protest should be revered. No nation is exempt.
“The arrest of BBC journalist @EP_Lawrence China is deeply disturbing. Journalists should be capable to do their job with out intimidation.”
Safety minister Tom Tugendhat warned the arrest was “an echo of the repression the CCP (Chinese language Communist Occasion) is making an attempt elsewhere”.
“China’s makes an attempt at state repression right here within the UK remind us of the pressing must defend our personal freedoms,” he stated on Twitter.
It was reported that China’s international ministry contested the BBC assertion, claiming Mr Lawrence didn’t establish himself as a journalist.
Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reportedly stated the BBC’s account didn’t replicate what had occurred.
A spokesperson for the broadcaster earlier stated: “The BBC is extraordinarily involved in regards to the therapy of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed whereas protecting the protests in Shanghai.
“He was held for a number of hours earlier than being launched.
“Throughout his arrest he was crushed and kicked by police.
“This occurred whereas he was working as an accredited journalist.
“It is rather worrying that one among our journalists was attacked on this manner whist finishing up his duties.”
Some footage on social media confirmed Mr Lawrence being dragged to the bottom in handcuffs, whereas he was seen saying in one other video: “Name the consulate now.”
The company claimed it had no official rationalization or apology from Chinese language authorities, including officers stated Mr Lawrence was arrested “for his personal good” in case he caught Covid from the group.
It stated: “We don’t think about this a reputable rationalization.”
Mr Lawrence later tweeted: “I perceive at the least one native nationwide was arrested after making an attempt to cease the police from beating me.”
Since Friday, individuals have been staging protests throughout China, the place avenue demonstrations are extraordinarily uncommon, over the nation’s draconian zero-Covid coverage.
Mr Lawrence has been in touch with the International, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace (FCDO) over the matter.