Rupert Wingfield Hayes of the BBC was followed and prevented from talking freely to villagers in Taishi, Guangdong province, where locals fear reprisals for speaking with foreign journalists.
He said local officials stopped him as soon as he arrived and kept him waiting for about an hour as they took down his team’s details and videoed them. When he insisted on moving on, he counted 11 people following him.
“Whenever we stopped to talk to people, at least eight of them surrounded us and said something in Cantonese to those we tried to speak to so no-one would talk.”
After he left, a car followed him all the way back to Guangzhou. A local source told the BBC that one man was held incommunicado this summer for 26 days after speaking to a foreign journalist.