China took a move to restrict access to the BBC website while protests and confrontations rage on between pro-democracy citizens and police in Hong Kong.
According to Reuters, Chinese Communist Party censors blocked the English-language BBC website. Britain’s national broadcaster has already been blocked on its Chinese-language website.
The communist party in China cut off the website from it’s citizens on Wednesday, and it still cannot be accessed.
China is no stranger to blocking and censoring websites. The New York Times and Bloomberg have already been deemed inappropriate by the government for the people of China.
The director of the BBC World Service Group, Peter Horrocks, released a statement expressing frustration over the censorship 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.”
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in China, Hong Lei, told Reuters that the people of China have “full internet freedom.”
“At the same time, the Chinese government manages the Internet in accordance with the law.”
The internet block on the BBC website may have been triggered from the BBC’s reporting of excessive force Chinese police were using against pro-democracy protesters.
It was not the first time the BBC English-language website was blocked or censored. Reports claim the website has only partially been accessible for about three months, before the entire website was blocked by censors.
BBC claims its website was “disrupted” in 2012 when Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng escaped from house arrest.
In 2010, BBC was blocked for several days before and after the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, according to The Huffington Post.
According to Newsmax, the police beat a protester a day before pepper spray and batons were used on the crowd. The people reportedly blocked a road to protest the beating.
One Chinese official expressed concern over journalists’ lack of objective reporting on the protests.
“We hope the outside world will respect … the Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region] government to deal with the situation in accordance with the law and does not send any wrong signal to this unlawful activity.”
According to Horrocks, China’s block of the BBC website will not deter it from moving forward and continuing to provide “impartial, trusted news to millions of people around the world,” although it is unknown when or if China will restore access to the website.