The Shanghai Foreign Correspondents Club on Monday said it was “very concerned” after Shanghai-based BBC journalist Ed Lawrence was forcibly detained while covering street protests in the international business hub as an accredited foreign correspondent on Sunday evening.
“He was beaten, kicked and handcuffed on Wulumuqi Lu before being held by police for several hours,” the club said in a statement. “He was released late on Sunday.”
“We are very concerned about this incident, and we hope that police and authorities ensure that legitimate journalists are able to carry out their duties without facing interference or excessive force,” the statement said.
Reuters said hundreds of demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday night as protests over China’s zero-Covid restrictions continued for a third day. Protests spread to several cities, including Beijing, Chengdu, Lanzhou and Wuhan, in the wake of a deadly fire in Urumqi, Reuters said.
The country reported some 40,000 Covid cases on Monday, the fifth consecutive daily record.
Foreign business groups have said that the country’s Covid policies embraced by President Xi Jinping are hurting investment and consumer spending.
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