Media Regulator Bans China’s CGTN Satellite Channel From Airing in UK — Radio Free Asia

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The U.Okay. media regulator Ofcom on Thursday banned Chinese state media big CGTN from broadcasting in the nation, citing violations of its license circumstances.

Ofcom introduced the transfer in an announcement on its web site, saying its investigation had concluded that CGTN’s license was “wrongfully held” by Star China Media.

“We have decided it is appropriate to revoke the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the U.K.,” the company mentioned, including that additional investigations into impartiality and privateness complaints could be concluded quickly.

“In the U.K., broadcasting laws … state that broadcast licensees must have control over the licensed service – including editorial oversight over the programs they show,” the assertion mentioned. “In addition, under these laws, license holders cannot be controlled by political bodies.”

It mentioned a probe into the possession construction of CGTN had discovered that Star China Media had no editorial duty for the satellite tv for pc TV station’s output, whereas another license-holder proposed by CGTN was rejected as unsuitable.

“We have been unable to grant an application to transfer the license to an entity called China Global Television Network Corporation (CGTNC) … because crucial information was missing from the application, and because … it is controlled by a body which is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” Ofcom mentioned.

It mentioned that since September 2020, CGTN had repeatedly failed to answer vital questions, or to supply any replace linked to its declare that the possession situation would quickly be resolved by company restructuring.

Almost instantly, China mentioned it had lodged “stern representations” to the BBC over its protection of the COVID-19 pandemic, accusing the broadcaster of “politicizing” the pandemic and placing out “fake news.”

China’s overseas ministry mentioned the BBC ought to “stop harboring ideological bias, stop smearing China, uphold professional ethics, and do objective, fair reporting on China.”

Broadcasting compelled confessions

But a rights group that has campaigned in opposition to CGTN over its involvement in compelled, televized “confessions” welcomed the information.

“CCP propaganda @CGTNOfficial is finally kicked out of #UK after years of @SafeguardDefend campaigns against its #forcedconfessions, breaches of privacy and the fact – that it is illegally broadcasting because it’s controlled by a political body,” the rights group Safeguard Defenders mentioned by way of its Twitter account on Thursday.

The group mentioned in an August 2020 report back to the United Nations that state media organizations and Chinese state safety police had produced dozens of televised compelled “confessions” in the years since CCP normal secretary Xi Jinping took energy, typically involving extreme duress and torture.

Safeguard Defenders listed a complete of 87 televised confessions between July 2013 and January 2020, lots of which had been the results of “extreme physical or emotional coercion.”

It mentioned detainees had been stored in circumstances that create immense stress and emotions of worry, together with months of solitary confinement, and had been commonly sleep disadvantaged underneath lights which are stored switched on 24 hours a day.

Some had undergone hours of interrogation throughout which they had been subjected to beatings, electrical batons, restraints, and denial of toilet breaks.

As effectively as being broadcast on state TV in China, a number of “confessions” had been broadcast on China’s abroad Communist Party TV channels, together with CGTN/CCTV-9 in English and CCTV-4 in Chinese, or by the pro-Beijing Hong Kong media, Safeguard Defenders mentioned.

Ofcom has already upheld a criticism from former British journalist and personal investigator Peter Humphrey in opposition to CGTN for treating him unfairly and infringing his privateness when it filmed his “confession” to alleged violations of privateness.

China Global Television Network (CGTN) is a bunch of six worldwide language channels launched by CCTV on Dec. 31, 2016, underneath the aegis of the Central Propaganda Department.

It was tasked with the enhancement of China’s worldwide broadcasting capacities with disseminating the CCP’s guiding rules and insurance policies, based on publicly out there paperwork on the time.

In February 2020, the U.S. State Department designated 5 Chinese state media entities together with CGTN “foreign missions,” that means that they’re thought of to be the official representatives of a overseas authorities on U.S. soil.

Reported by He Ping for RFA’s Mandarin Service, and by the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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