London, Mar 31 (efe-epa).- BBC News on Wednesday said one of its journalists in China had relocated to Taiwan amid strong criticism from Beijing over the channel’s reporting on alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
John Sudworth, who had reported on the treatment of the mainly Muslim Uighur minorities in China’s far west, left Beijing with his family.
In a statement, BBC News said: “John’s work has exposed truths the Chinese authorities did not want the world to know.
“The BBC is proud of John’s award-winning reporting during his time in Beijing and he remains our China correspondent.”
The BBC reported that Sudworth and his family were followed to the airport by plainclothes officers and cited the journalist as saying his job had become more difficult with “threats of legal action, obstruction and intimidation wherever they tried to film.”
The state-run Global Times said Sudworth was “hiding” in Taiwan after Xinjiang “individuals” announced they would sue the reporter for “fake news.”
Over the last year, the number of foreign journalists in China has dropped after authorities expelled reporters from the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, among others.
Australian media withdrew all foreign correspondents from China last year amid fears they could be targeted by arbitrary detentions.
Several western governments have accused China of carrying out human rights abuses against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province, including forced labor and largescale detention.
Beijing authorities deny the allegations, although they have acknowledged the presence of so-called “re-education camps”, which it claims are needed as a counter-terrorism measure. EFE-EPA