Australian broadcaster SBS said on Friday it would suspend its broadcasts of news bulletins from Chinese state television news services CGTN and CCTV after receiving a human rights complaint.
An SBS spokesman told Reuters that programmes from Chinese state media CCTV and CGTN would not air on Saturday (March 6) and that SBS was reviewing a complaint from a human rights organisation.
A story on the SBS News website said human rights organisation Safeguard Defenders wrote to SBS after Britain’s media regulator revoked the licence of CGTN due to “serious non-compliance offences”.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement citing the ban as an example of “classical political persecution ” and that “China will take all necessary measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese media.”
The letter from Safeguard Defenders to SBS said CCTV had broadcast the forced confessions of some 56 people between 2013 and 2020.
“These broadcasts involved the extraction, packaging and airing of forced and false confessions of prisoners held under conditions of duress and torture,” SBS reported the letter from Safeguard Defenders as saying.
SBS is a public service broadcaster, providing news and entertainment programming on radio and television in multiple languages and focussing on multicultural issues.
A 15-minute CGTN English news service and 30-minute CCTV Mandarin language service were part of SBS programming.