BBC released a statement Wednesday morning firing back at the Chinese government for reportedly blocking the British news company’s website in China.
“The BBC strongly condemns any attempts to restrict free access to news and information and we are protesting to the Chinese authorities. This appears to be deliberate censorship,” said Peter Horrocks, BBC’s director of global news.
The alleged censorship comes at the same time as the Chinese government cracks down on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. A new round of protests were triggered early Wednesday when a video emerged showing the police beating and kicking a demonstrator. The BBC’s English-language China page prominently featured multiple stories on the video.
BBC itself reported the reason for the censorship was “unclear.” However, the Chinese government is often accused of blocking access to news outlets reporting on stories critical of its regime.
“Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the BBC’s English-language site has been generally available. However, other BBC services including its Chinese-language news website has been blocked largely since it was launched,” the outlet reported. “The last time the BBC’s English-language website was disrupted was during the corporation’s coverage of activist Chen Guangcheng’s escape from house arrest in April 2012.”