German TV crew attacked in China
01 March 2013, 16:28
Beijing - A television crew from Germany's ARD was attacked in China by thugs who tried to force their car off the road and smashed the windscreen, the lead reporter said on Friday.
ARD was filming for a report on urbanisation in Da Yan Ge Zhuang village near Sanhe city in the northern province of Hebei when the crew was attacked on Wednesday, ARD correspondent Christine Adelhardt told dpa.
"After taking outside shots of old and new houses in the village, the team was followed by cars," said Adelhardt, who was accompanied by two German colleagues and two Chinese colleagues.
"Four to five cars chased the car of ARD," she said. "They tried to cause an accident."
After the pursuing cars forced the ARD vehicle to stop, several men surrounded the vehicle and tried to open the doors, Adelhardt said.
"They hammered against the windows, first just with their fists," she said.
"We managed to escape, [but] during the chase they intentionally crashed into our car," Adelhardt said.
"They stopped us again and used baseball bats to smash the front window," she said.
The ARD crew drove off again, with the cars in pursuit, before stopping to ask traffic police for help.
"Again the attackers started smashing the car with their baseball bats," Adelhardt said. "More police showed up and stopped the attackers."
The police took the ARD team to the Sanhe city police station, where they were forced to stay for 16 hours as the police investigated.
The Beijing-based Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said it was "appalled" by the "brutal assault on a German TV crew by thugs apparently linked to local authorities".