North Korea detains, expels BBC reporter

(From AFP)

A BBC reporter in North Korea was detained, interrogated for eight hours and eventually expelled over his reporting in the run-up to a rare ruling party congress, the British broadcaster said on Monday.

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes speaks to journalists after arriving at the international airport in Beijing on May 9

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes speaks to journalists after arriving at the international airport in Beijing on May 9

Foreign reporters invited to cover specific events in North Korea are subjected to very tight restrictions, regarding access and movement.

Numerous journalists have found themselves prevented from returning to the country because their previous coverage was deemed “inaccurate” or “disrespectful” — but detaining and then expelling a reporter while still in the country is extremely rare.

The BBC reporter, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, was about to board a plane departing Pyongyang airport with two other BBC staff on Friday when he was stopped and taken into detention, the BBC said.

He was then questioned for around eight hours, apparently over one of his reports which questioned the authenticity of a hospital his team was visiting.

“He was taken to a hotel and interrogated by the security bureau here in Pyongyang before being made to sign a statement and then released” on Saturday morning, said John Sudworth, another BBC reporter covering the congress in the North Korean capital. Read More



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