ITV man John Ray arrested covering Tibet protest

A British journalist was detained by police in Beijing while covering a Free Tibet protest on Wednesday, and later released.

John Ray of ITV News was taken away in a police van after covering a protest involving activists from Students for a Free Tibet.

A British embassy spokesman confirmed the arrest and told PA: “He has since been released.”

According to reports, police also forcibly removed the protesters and Ray was able to speak to a colleague briefly on a mobile phone.

Ray said: “I have been roughed up. They dragged me, pulled me and knocked me to the ground. Now they are filming me.”

An exchange with the police officers could then be heard with Ray saying: “I am a British journalist. I have all the Olympic accreditation I need.”

Officers then asked: “What’s your opinion on Tibet?” Ray replied: “I have no opinion on Tibet. I am a journalist.”

Ray was detained in a police van by Chinese officers.

It is understood he was released after Ray’s producer showed them accreditation.

A spokesman at the British embassy said: “We are aware of the incident and have spoken directly to John Ray.

“We have expressed our strong concern to the Chinese authorities and we are pleased that he has been released.”

Ray was taken away by police as members of the campaign group handcuffed themselves to each other and bicycles at the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park, near the National Stadium in Beijing.

Eight members of the campaign group were eventually arrested after two of them hung a Free Tibet banner.

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