RTÉ Beijing correspondent flees China with husband after ‘pressure and threats’

RTÉ Beijing correspondent flees China with husband after ‘pressure and threats’”

Sudworth's wife, Yvonne Murray, a correspondent for the Irish broadcaster RTE, went with him to Taiwan.

He had been reporting from China for more than nine years, first in Shanghai and then Beijing.

Beijing - which maintains that the camps are vocational training centers that help to deradicalize citizens - has accused the broadcaster of going on "a spree to spread explicit falsehoods about China's policy" in the region.

The BBC has run reports claiming that women have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured at camps in Xinjiang, where the US State Department alleges that up to 2 million people have been put into internment camps.

"This is an entirely private action, and has nothing to do with the Chinese government", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Wednesday.

"Over the last few years the pressure and threats from the Chinese authorities as a result of my reporting here have been pretty constant", Sudworth told BBC radio.

More news: Video shows vicious attack of Asian American woman in NY

The FCCC says foreign journalists are "being caught up in diplomatic rows out of their control", and that the country's "abuse of Sudworth and his colleagues at the BBC forms part of a larger pattern of harassment and intimidation that obstructs the work of foreign correspondents in China".

"But in recent months they have intensified, 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".

State-backed Global Times said the broadcaster was responsible for a "slew of falsified reporting" on Xinjiang and China's handling of Covid-19. The BBC has said it stands by its reporting as fair and accurate.

While it's unclear what scope such a lawsuit would take, individuals linked to ongoing legal proceedings in China are subject to exit bans, and therefore barred from leaving the country.

China has repeatedly said the BBC's report was false and it has also forcefully denied other claims of human rights abuses in Xinjiang raised by western governments and rights groups.

China's foreign ministry routinely grants truncated journalist visas, including to the Telegraph, as punishment in response to coverage the Chinese authorities dislike.

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