The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reviewing a complaint from a Spanish nongovernmental organization (NGO) that alleges two Chinese-run TV channels are violating FCC rules by broadcasting forced confessions from prisoners who have been tortured.
A spokesperson for the agency told The Wall Street Journal that it was looking at a complaint alleging the videos of confessions from prisoners, which include videos of protesters arrested in Hong Kong, violate the agency's rules against broadcasting "lies and intentional distortions."
"Our submission to you contained evidence to show the systematic airing of lies and distortions between 2013 and 2019, a practice which has continued unchecked since we filed and which includes the false and forced confessions of tortured untried prisoners, in addition to the distorted coverage of issues that are of current American and international concern," the complaint reads, listing issues including treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province as well as COVID-19.
"In such content, repeatedly aired by Chinese outlets CGTN and CCTV-4, journalists, lawyers, NGO workers, activists for the rule of law and human rights, as well as ordinary persons, are forced to record ‘confession’ videos after prolonged duress or torture, held in solitary, in incommunicado at secret detention locations, without access to legal counsel," it continued.
The Hill has reached out to CGTN for comment. A media contact for CCTV could not immediately be reached.
The FCC complaint comes as the Biden administration has done little to reverse the aggressive stance towards China the U.S. struck under the Trump administration. Biden, at a security conference last month, called for Western nations to create "rules" in the cybersecurity and tech spheres to confront the growing power of China and Russia in those fields.
“We must shape the rules that will govern the advance of technologies and the norms of behavior in cyberspace, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, so they are used to lift people up, not used to pin them down,” President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act: a bill long overdue MORE said in February.
“U.S. and European companies are required to publicly disclose corporate governance structures, and abide by rules to deter corruption and monopolistic practices,” he added at the time. “Chinese companies must be held to the same standards.”