China’s official media CGTN prosecuted in France

China International Television (CGTN), which was allowed to broadcast in France last month, was recently reported by the European human rights group Defenders of Human Rights for violating media laws and maliciously defaming two of its clients, and the French High Audiovisual Council confirmed to the media on April 7 that it had accepted the group’s complaint.

However, the French High Audiovisual Council (CSA), which oversees French radio and television media, stressed that China International Television had the right to broadcast in France, given its use of French satellites, and assured that it would The Commission has also pledged to strictly monitor the media in accordance with the French media law adopted in 1986, based on the principles of objectivity and impartiality of the media, and will intervene to monitor CGTN if it violates these principles.

In a statement issued on April 6, Defenders has filed a complaint with the French Audiovisual High Council on behalf of two individuals accused of defamation by China International Television: Adrian Zenz, a German academic, and Mamutjan Abudurehim, a Uighur who studied in Australia.

Abudurehim, whose wife and children lost contact with him after returning to Xinjiang from Australia in 2017, was told his wife was in a re-education camp and accused China International Television of slandering him for abandoning his family. He also accused the station of violating his daughter’s rights by forcing her to give interviews with forced smiles. After U.S. cable television broke through surveillance to interview Abdulrahim’s daughter in Kashgar, where she cried about missing her parents, China International Television aired a report on Abdulrahim’s children, describing their happy life in Xinjiang and condemning the father in Australia for abandoning his children.

As for German scholar Zheng Guoyen, who has been sanctioned by the Chinese government, he alleges that CGTN denounced him for spreading rumors, but never contacted him for an interview to give him the opportunity to rebut them, which he believes is contrary to the principle of objectivity and impartiality of the media.

In parallel with its complaint against the French High Council of Audiovisuals, the Defenders filed the same complaint against the US surveillance agency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).