UK investigates Chinese network CGTN for airing confession

World | 9 May 2019 5:52 pm

Britain's broadcasting watchdog has launched a formal investigation into whether a confession made by a British man and aired on China's state broadcaster broke UK broadcasting rules when shown there. 
The investigation relates to a complaint made by Briton Peter Humphrey and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, who were both sentenced in China in 2014 for illegally obtaining private records of Chinese citizens and selling the information to clients including drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline. 
Humphrey says China Central Television (CCTV), which broadcast the footage via its international subsidiary China Global Television Network (CGTN), may have breached British fairness rules by distributing what he said was a forced confession which prejudiced a subsequent trial against him. 
"We have decided to investigate a fairness and privacy complaint about news programmes broadcast on CCTV News," a spokesperson for the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said. "If we find our rules have been broken, we will take the appropriate action.''
Speaking in Beijing yesterday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang referred specific questions to state television, but spoke of the need for international cooperation and support for the media. 
"We believe that news organisations are the bridge and link to promote mutual understanding and friendly cooperation among people of all countries," he told reporters. "We hope that Britain can provide support and convenience for foreign media to conduct normal news reporting work in Britain." 

Photo: Liu Yunshan, center, a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party Central Committee; Vice Premier Liu Yandong, right, and Liu Qibao, a member of the Politburo and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, launch the China Global Television Network (CGTN) in Beijing on December 31, 2016. 

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