On November 27, people in Shanghai gathered near Wulumuqi street to protest the lockdown. BBC reporter Ed Lawrence was pinned to the ground by police and taken away while on duty. He was detained for a few hours before being released. During the detention, he was treated badly by the police. When the police released him, they stated that it was an act of goodwill as they only wanted to ensure he that he would not be infected by the crowd.
According to RFA, on November 27, Shanghai residents once again gathered near Wulumuqi Road, demanding the police release the arrested citizens. However, the police set up barricades and suppressed the crowd. RFA reported a spokesman for the BBC – Britain’s national news agency confirmed on November 27 that BBC reporter Ed Lawrence was handcuffed and arrested by police while reporting the protests in Shanghai. Lawrence was released after being detained for several hours.
The BBC statement also says that they are very concerned about what happened to Lawrence, who was punched and kicked by police during his arrest, which actually happened while Lawrence was working as a licensed journalist. The statement said, “It was very disturbing that one of our journalists was attacked in the line of duty. Apart from the claim of the officer who released him later which explained the arrest was based on goodwill which is to assure our reporter would not get infected with the virus from the crowd, we have not received an official explanation or apology from the Chinese authorities. According to our opinion, this is not a trustworthy explanation”.
The video released by Chinese-language “DW” also said, “BBC reporter Ed Lawrence was taken away by police while reporting the anti-lockdown protests in Shanghai. According to the BBC statement, he was beaten and handcuffed by the police during his arrest, and was released a few hours later.”
The video shows Chinese people protesting against the lockdown order, and the BBC reporter was arrested. In a video, 4 Shanghai policemen pushed Lawrence to the ground, forcibly arresting him, while people shouted, “Let go of him, let go of him.”
The fact that Lawrence was arrested and beaten while working has caused great concern to netizens, many of whom have expressed anger over this incident. Vision Times cited some of the comments.
One person wrote,“The domestic media is dead, does anyone dare to report it?”
Another said,“The Communist Party’s tentacles have reached out to the whole world.”
And one more said, “This is trampling on press freedom and violating human rights.”
Some netizens revealed that the protests in China have been blamed on “foreign forces.” Netizen known as “Liu Yi” said, “There are rumors circulating in China that this reporter is the ‘leader’ of foreign hostile forces, and foreign countries have distributed 500 yuan for each person participating in the parade. I just want to ask, where can protesters get the money?”
It is worth mentioning that in just three days, large-scale protests by residents in Urumqi, Xinjiang, had a ripple effect on demonstrations in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, and many other places. There were also protests at more than 70 universities. So far, there have been no related reports in the Chinese media. Like netizens said, “Domestic media is dead!”