A BBC journalist was “beaten and kicked by police” as he was arrested and detained for “several hours” while covering a protest in China.

The broadcaster released a statement saying it was “very concerned” by the treatment of cameraman Edward Lawrence in Shanghai on Sunday.

Mr Lawrence was covering protests over Covid-19 measures in China when the BBC say he “was attacked”.

Footage on social media showed him being dragged to the ground in handcuffs by police, while another showed him asking someone to “call the consulate now”.

News and Star:

A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC is extremely concerned about the treatment of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed while covering the protests in Shanghai.

“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 whist carrying out his duties.”

The corporation claimed it had no official explanation or apology from Chinese authorities, adding officials said Mr Lawrence was arrested “for his own good” in case he caught Covid from the crowd.

It said: “We do not consider this a credible explanation.”

Since Friday, people have been staging protests across China, where street demonstrations are extremely rare, over the country’s draconian Covid measures.

Mr Lawrence has been in contact with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) over the matter.