Reporters Without Borders welcomes UK investigation into Chinese state TV channel

By agency reporter
May 17, 2019

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has welcomed the launch of an investigation by the United Kingdom’s audiovisual regulation authority (Ofcom) into Chinese state television network CGTN for airing forced confessions.

On 9 May 2019, the United Kingdom’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) announced that they are investigating China Global Television Network’s (CGTN) possible violation of broadcasting regulations. The Chinese state channel is being accused of airing forced confessions, a serious human rights infringement that may breach some 20 provisions of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. The regulatory body was urged to revoke CGTN’s licence by former British journalist and private investigator Peter Humphrey,, who was detained in China in 2013 and forced to confess to alleged crimes on air in 2014.

“This legal action shows that democracies have the capacity to defend their principles against propaganda without using censorship”, said Cédric Alviani, head of RSF's East Asia bureau, adding that “freedom of the press cannot be used as an excuse to trample human rights”.

In March, RSF published a report titled China's Pursuit of a New World Media Order, which investigates Beijing's strategy to control information beyond its borders, threatening press freedom on a global scale. In the report, RSF recommends that media outlets, publishers and social media platforms should refuse to diffuse propaganda or content which obviously violates human rights.

* Download China's Pursuit of a New World Media Order here

*China is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in the 2019 RSF World Press Freedom Index

* Reporters Without Borders https://rsf.org/en

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