British man Peter Humphrey, who worked as a journalist for Reuters, and whose Chinese name is Han Feilong, was forced to confess his guilt in front of CCTV cameras after his arrest in China in 2013. Image source: Screenshot of video
SBS decided to immediately suspend news content from China Central Television (CCTV) and its Global Television Network (CGTN) after learning of serious concerns about human rights abuses on both channels.
SBS’s World Watch series brings Australian viewers news programming from stations around the world, including 15 minutes of CCTV news in Mandarin and 30 minutes of CGTN news in English.
The U.K. media regulator revokes the broadcasting license of China Central Television’s Global TV network for “serious violations. Human rights group Safeguard Defenders has since written to SBS.
The group claims that CCTV broadcast footage of some 56 people being coerced into “confessing to charges” between 2013 and 2020.
In a letter to SBS, the group said, “These broadcasts involved coercion and torture to extract false confessions from suspects.”
The letter continued, “These human rights violations involve obtaining ‘confessions’ from suspects long before any indictment, trial or conviction, and in many cases, victims are held incommunicado in secret locations without access to legal help.
“A significant portion of these ‘confession of guilt’ clips were broadcast not only within China, but also globally via CCTV-4 and CGTN.”
SBS will review the arrangements for its broadcast services and will immediately suspend all CGTN and CCTV programming during this period.
“SBS has received one complaint and is reviewing it,” said an SBS spokesperson.
“Given the seriousness of the concern and the complexity of the content, we have decided to suspend the broadcast of CGTN and CCTV content from overseas while we evaluate these services.”