Britain’s audio-visual regulator on Monday fined Chinese English-language news channel CGTN for invasion of privacy and prejudice in four separate cases, shortly after Beijing was set ablaze.
In the context of heightened diplomatic tensions between London and Beijing, Chinese public television received two fines, totaling £ 225,000 ($ 310,000, 260,000 euros).
This was due to his failure to comply with his impartial obligations in his coverage of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019 and the invasion of privacy of journalist Peter Humphrey when he reported his arrest in China.
Humphrey, who was working in China as a private investigator for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison in August 2014 for violating China’s privacy laws. He was released and deported in 2015.
In another ruling, the regulator of the regulator found CGTN guilty of improper behavior and invasion of privacy of the two complainants and did not comment on possible sanctions.
The first concern is Simon Cheng, a former employee of the consulate in Hong Kong in the UK, who went missing in 2019. He claimed that he was tortured by the Chinese secret police.
CGTN released a police video featuring a man posing as Cheng who confesses to having had contact with prostitutes, an allegation he denied, stating that he had to make a statement was forced.
The second decision is a matter of concern for a Chinese nationalized Swede Gui Minhai, who had published abundant books on Chinese leaders in a Hong Kong publishing house.
Last year he was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Chinese court for “illegally disseminating classified information abroad”, while his retaliation condemned political persecution.
Ofcom reprimanded CGTN for treating its case unfairly.
In early February, the regulator withdrew the channel’s license, claiming that it was controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Since then, China has banned the broadcast of BBC World News on its territory without any restrictions officially linking it to the status of CGTN.
gmo-acc / tjc