'Too risky to carry on': BBC journalist leaves China after facing threats, intimidation

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 31, 2021, 08:11 PM(IST)

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) office in London Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

'The BBC has faced a full-on propaganda attack not just aimed at the organisation itself but at me personally across multiple Communist Party-controlled platforms,' the journalist said 

A senior BBC journalist said on Wednesday he had left China as he was facing pressure and legal threats for his reporting on human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the coronavirus pandemic. 

John Sudworth told BBC Radio 4 that he had shifted to Taiwan after working for nine years in Beijing as it was "too risky to carry on."

He added that threats from Chinese authorities have "intensified" in recent months. 

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"The BBC has faced a full-on propaganda attack not just aimed at the organisation itself but at me personally across multiple Communist Party-controlled platforms," the journalist said. 

He also said that he and his team faced "threats of legal action", "massive surveillance", "obstruction" and "intimidation" wherever and whenever they try to film. 

Also read | China using social media to discredit BBC in state propaganda campaign, says Australian think tank

Sudworth added that police in "plainclothes" followed him during his departure from China. 

The journalist recently has been attacked by state media and authorities for his reporting on alleged labour practices to target Uighur Muslim minorities, especially in Xinjiang's cotton industry. 

The British broadcaster also confirmed Sudworth's relocation after state media tabloid Global Times on Wednesday reported he was "hiding" in Taiwan. 

"John's work has exposed truths the Chinese authorities did not want the world to know," the BBC said in a statement on Twitter. 

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