A veteran BBC correspondent whose coverage drew the ire of Chinese authorities has left the country fearing for his safety, the British broadcaster and a journalists’ organization said.
The BBC said Wednesday that John Sudworth has settled in Taiwan and he remains its China correspondent.
The Foreign Correspondents Club of China said Sudworth left last week fearing for his safety and that of his family.
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The organization said his wife Yvonne Murray, a correspondent for Irish broadcaster RTE, left with him.
John’s work has exposed truths that the Chinese authorities did not want the world to know, the BBC said in a statement on Twitter. The broadcaster declined to make any further statement.
Sudworth had been reporting from China for nine years. Last year he won a George Polk Award for his reporting on internment camps for Muslims in the Xinjiang region. China has said the camps are vocational training centers and denies abuses.
Beijing has held a series of press conferences to reject reports by the BBC and other foreign news outlets about human rights violations in Xianjing.
The Foreign Correspondents Club said Sudworth left after months of attacks that included videos posted on the Internet by the state-run press with images taken by police cameras.
Over the past few years the pressures and threats from the Chinese authorities as a result of my journalistic work here have been fairly constant, Sudworth told BBC radio. But in recent months they have intensified, the BBC has faced a frontal propaganda attack not only against the organization itself but against me on various Communist Party-controlled platforms.
The Global Times, a state-run newspaper, reported that Sudworth, who gained infamy in China for his frequent biased stories distorting China’s policies in Xinjiang and the response to COVID-19, has left the Chinese mainland and is believed to be hiding in Taiwan.