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  • Incident Reports | 20 December, 2013 (11:00)

    TV Crew Attacked

    While reporting in Nanle, Henan province, on the detention and disappearance of a Christian minister and two dozen members of his congregation, Sky News correspondent Mark Stone and his team were violently attacked on Friday Dec. 13th by an organized mob and forced to barricade themselves in the local prosecutor’s office for safety.

    As Stone, his producer and cameraman were interviewing lawyers for the detained Christians outside the prosecutor’s office, a bus drew up and disgorged about 50 men and women who assaulted cameraman Andy Portch, damaging his camera as they tried to snatch it from him, and who threw stones at the lawyers, hitting one on the head.

    A police car parked nearby drove away as the attack began; Stone and his colleagues, along with a lawyer and two local Christians, sought safety and barricaded themselves into the prosecutor’s office by wedging the door closed with a sofa and a desk.

    Policemen arrived on the scene and left without dispersing the angry crowd. After three hours, officials from the local office of the Foreign Ministry arrived – apparently alerted by their superiors in Beijing, whom Stone had telephoned earlier. They advised the Sky crew to stay where they were, for their own safety.

    Only after another hour did the Foreign Ministry officials gain enough control of the situation to escort the TV crew out of the building, and then out of Nanle. They said they did not know who the thugs in the crowd were; the lawyers with whom Stone spoke said they had been hired by the local government to attack them the day before.