11 Aug 2020

Review of China's forced TV confessions filed with UN agencies

Today Safeguard Defenders, along with a group of non-governmental organizations, submitted a comprehensive review of China's use of forced televised confessions before trial to nine United Nations Special Procedures, calling for a full review of how this practice violates key international rights and laws. 

The 11-page submission, complemented with an exhaustive 37-page Appendix, draws from data collected by Safeguard Defenders and extensive testimonies from a range of victims. It describes the rife violations that are connected to the core rights abuse; the deprivation of the right to a fair trial. The data shows the lack of judicial independence of judges and lawyers, the use of arbitrary detention, the frequent use of enforced or involuntary disappearances, the use of torture, physical and mental health abuse, the right to privacy, and the right to freedom of expression, as well as protections for human rights defenders, and the use of violence against women.

The groups; Safeguard Defenders, ChinaAid, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Front Line Defenders, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) call on the UN Special Procedures to launch a full review of the practice, and propose to the Chinese government steps to take in reducing and eliminating the use of forced televised confessions, and the violations that are tied to the practice. 

The submission follows a conviction against Chinese State/Party TV for broadcasting such confessions in the United Kingdom, with several more broadcasts pending decision. Similar complaints are being entertained in the United States and Canada and are being prepared in France, Australia and New Zeeland. 

Slightly altered versions of the submission(s) can also be downloaded as PDFs under the Publications tab.