Peter Dahlin files complaint against CCTV4 in the UK

On Monday, January 7, Peter Dahlin, the director of Safeguard Defenders, filed a complaint with Ofcom, the UK’s Broadcast regulator. The complaint is a standard Fairness and Privacy complaint against CCTV-4 which broadcasts in the UK.

The full complaint also includes a section against breaches against standards, and include an ‘autopsy’ of lies and intentional distortion of facts made, many time knowingly, by CCTV, both in them helping the Ministry of State Security agents extract and record the “confession as well as in extensive post-production before the newscast.


Fairness and Privacy complaint

China Central Television channel 4 (CCTV-4)


This complaint is filed by the victim of the broadcast, Swedish citizen Peter Dahlin, on 2019-01-07.

Download the full complaint as a PDF here.


Background to complaint


This complaint concerns China Central Television (CCTV) Channel 4, a Chinese-language channel broadcasting in some 121 or more countries around the world, and in the United Kingdom under CCTV’s license CCTV (DTAS100508BA/15)[1].



In mid-January 2016, after having spent a few weeks incommunicado, in a secret prison facility in China, in solitary confinement, I was asked by agents of China’s Ministry of State Security, to record a video. I was at this time, along with several coworkers and even my girlfriend, being kept under what is called ’residential surveillance at a designated location’ (RSDL for short). This system allows for solitary confinement, incommunicado detention for half a year, and has been classified by the United Nations as a tool for ’Enforced Disappearances’. By law, victims are kept outside the normal facilities of the judicial system, in what amounts to custom-built prisons that are not allowed to be called prisons, and where all victims must be kept in solitary confinement in anti-suicide-padded cells.

I was told, for the judicial system to decide on whether to prosecute me, for having worked with legal aid and rule of law issues in China, or to deport me under diplomatic pretext, that they needed me to record a video, one that would show their higher ups that I was repentant and accepted my wrongdoings. Not doing so would have kept my girlfriend in solitary confinement for up to half a year.

Recently, it has become well known how police and Chinese CCTV collaborate in making ”Forced TV Confessions”, always before trial, but back then it was less well known. I, like many victims who have later spoken out, was never told or informed, that this was to be a public TV recording, but that it was for internal use only. Even when CCTV staff has been involved in making these, police would, as victim have testified this year, been told it is merely for higher production value.



I was given a paper with prepared questions and answers, and told to memorize it. I was told to change to my civilian clothing and to shower. Later that day, i was hauled to another room inside the same secret prison facility. There, almost a dozen agents from state security filled the room, along with a cameraman from CCTV, CCTV camera equipment, and a CCTV journalist.

As has been widely reported, and therefore I will not go into details here, the journalist was given a paper with questions to ask me. I was then told to reply with the memorized answers. In between takes, agents would direct re-takes, instructing me to change posture, change answers, change tone. My paper with the questions and answers visible to the journalist sitting opposite.

Being kept incommunicado, I was not aware of this being released on CCTV13, China’s main news channel, on primetime, and aired across China. Again, I was never told this was for public use or TV or anything similar. Later seeing the broadcast, after having been deported, I could also see two other coworkers, who had been kept in same facility, also having recorded such confessions. CCTV had then taken them all, edited them, added significant graphics and post-production, and broadcast it. I had not been tried, nor even arrested.



Due to the recent work by Safeguard Defenders and their reporting (I am a member of that NGO) and exposure of this use of Forced TV Confessions against critics, and especially following reveleations this month, December 2018, by a Swedsh journalist, of how these have then been broadcast outside of China, including in the UK, it has now become known that my ”confession” was broadcast, by CCTV4, in the United Kingdom.


Basis for complaint


— Violations of the Broadcasting Code —

The production of, and the airing of, violates a significant part of the privacy and fairness provisions in the Broadcasting Code, especially as no consent was asked for, not could, in any meaningful way, be given even if asked. Key among these violations are;

Derogatory. The postproduction added, without my knowledge, abusive and derogatory material, and accusations presented as facts. (article 3.3)

Impartiality. CCTV staff would be well aware of my situation, witnessing how the recording was produced, yet did not in any way or form include that in the broadcast. (article 5.1)

Corrections not made. Despite my vocal denouncement of this treatment and broadcast, including in Chinese language media, CCTV has made no attempts to issue a correction. (article 5.2)

Lack of partiality. At no point is the true role of the CCTV staff shown in the broadcast. (article 5.8)

Unfair treatment. Broadcast presents me as a willing participant, despite knowing it not to be so. (article 7.1)

Fairness to contributors. Broadcast presents me as a willing participant, despite knowing it not to be so. I was kept incommunicado, without access to lawyer, in solitary confinement by what is by definition a secret prison. The scripted nature was clear to CCTV staff. Additional accusations added in post-production presented as facts without any trial having been held to convict me. (article 7.2)

Concerning article 7.3, CCTV is in breach of many different points, as presented above. I was intentionally not told the true nature of the recording or its purpose, was not informed of other (forced) contributors (my coworkers), and was not told of changes made from my “confession” and the finished production.

Editing. I was not told about the editing undertaken, and the many parts added in post-production, and allegations were presented as facts. (article 7.6)

Checking that material is correct. CCTV staff has not taken reasonable care to check that material to be presented was unfair, or that selection of material to present was factual. (article 7.9)

Chance of contributor to respond. I was not informed at any point of the allegation presented against me in the TV broadcast, was never given a chance to see it (I was even unaware it has been shown on TV), and certainly never given a change to respond to any such allegations. (article 7.11)

Privacy infringement. The broadcast severely infringed on my privacy, presenting falsehoods to a viewership in the hundreds of millions. No consent given in any way, nor could it ever, as I was never informed this was for TV, and even if so, was kept under duress and could not legally give or not give consent of any form. (article 8.6)

No broadcast of thus suffering emergency or tragedy. It was not warranted for CCTV to broadcast this “confession” as I had not been convicted of it, it also severely infringed on my privacy, and no consent was given. (article 8.16)

Not use recordings of people in distress. I was kept incommunicado, in solitary confinement, as a secret location. CCTV staff was aware of the scripted nature of the recording. It was by very definition a situation of great distress. (article 8.17)


— Violations of the Human Rights Act —


CCTV has violated paragraph 6 of the Human Rights Act, in being directly responsible for denying me the possibility of a fair trial.

CCTV is responsible for severe violations of my privacy, as defined in article 8.


Standards Breach


Throughout the broadcast the newscast, and the newscaster, presents what are merely accusations against Peter Dahlin as facts. This is done despite the then widely known fact that Peter was being investigated, and that no arrest had been made of him, and certainly no trial or conviction of him been made. Thus, CCTV intentionally distorted the fact.

All statements made by myself was known by CCTV to be made under duress. The videographer and the journalist both were aware that I was kept in a facility for investigation, and were aware that my answers were pre-determined, and was being read from a piece of paper that both CCTV staff saw. Both also asked questions supplied, on paper, by the security agents. They are also aware that those security agents guide and directed the whole recording, being present in the room. They instructed on tone of voice, posture as well as on re-takes as well as updated questions and answers.

Despite the presence of a large number of security agents in the room making the “confession” video, and the fact that it was made inside a prison-type facility, is hidden in CCTVs filming of the “confession” as well as in the newscast.

The newscast begins by stating that security forces have successfully cracked down on an organization that was engaging in activities threatening national security. The organization, and its director Peter Dahlin, were merely under investigation. The broadcast convicted him in public of this accusation despite no arrest nor trial of him.

The newscast falsely states that Peter’s work and his group operated under instruction from a foreign, non-specified, institution (they mean National Endowment for Democracy). This is false, and this statement is known by security personnel involved to be false. I did not make this, nor any similar statements to CCTV. Any understanding, even basic one, would know this to be false, because grant makers do not direct their grantees.

The newscast includes statements against me that could not be verified by CCTV. Those are statements from two co-workers. Neither of these were interviewed by CCTV, and those videos were made by the Ministry of State Security while both were kept incommunicado. CCTV had no access to either persons, and thus had no way to verify such statement from them, yet nonetheless included them in the broadcast to further add defamatory statements. These statements include that I intentionally collected negative or damaging information about developments in China, and that I would distort and exaggerate them, and even fabricate such information. It also said my work sought to intensify disputes inside China.

The newscast, voiced by one of these forced statements from a detained co-worker, but also by the newscaster/narration, states, as a fact, that we, in collusion with overseas forces, planned and helped smuggling someone across China’s border into Burma. This is false, the security services knows that it is false, and CCTV did not ask about it in the interview, but issued it as a statement of fact nonetheless.

The newscast directly lies when it then states that I confessed to the above accusations. I did not, and no video of me exist where I confess to any involvement in this smuggling. The newscast also says that I admitted that any report made “did not reflect the true situation”. This is false, and no such admission was made, nor does it exist. This is a false statement, and CCTV interviewer did not ask about this, yet included this as a statement by newscaster in the broadcast.

In addition, I was forced to use the word “criminal” against two people. I made it clear, repeatedly, that neither of those had been tried and convicted of any crimes, therefore by definition are not criminals, but MSS agents refused to change it. CCTV staff were aware that neither of them had been convicted, nor even been arrested. Despite that, they intentionally included this forced statement from me in the newscast, as an act of intentional distortion.

Finally, the newscast states that I said that we would pay professional lawyers to launch lawsuits against the government. I did not say that, and it is false. Professional lawyers provide criminal representation for those facing criminal prosecution. This is not in any way related to lawsuits against the government. CCTV did not ask about this, yet presented it, in newscaster/narrators voice, as having been admitted and said by me. This is both a direct lie and an intentional distortion.

The newscast ends with stating that I had been placed in “residential surveillance”. This is false, and knowingly false by CCTV. I had been placed into “residential surveillance at a designated location”, a very different situation, and me being held in a MSS run facility would make it clear to CCTV staff as they visited to interview me.


Further information


Safeguard Defenders, the human rights NGO, has released an exhaustive report on the use of forced TV confessions in China, Scripted and Staged, available as pdf here:

The same NGO has also, with help from Swedish journalist Kurdo Baksi, been able to reveal, just this December, the true scope of broadcasting of these Forced TV Confessions in the UK, and this database can be accessed here:

More information and a long list of victims’ testimonies can be requested from Safeguard Defenders at

Full victim testimonies and in-depth information about CCTV’s role in the practice of “Forced TV Confessions” can also be read about in the first ever book on the subject, Trial By Media, available on Amazon worldwide.



— Time of filing complaint –


This complaint is being filed after the 20 day normal reporting period. The broadcast of this, my own, TV “confession”, and the vast scope of broadcast of many others, in the UK, was unknown until exposed in December 2018. It seems to have been unknown and gone unnoticed by Ofcom as well.

Now that this has been exposed, this complaint is being filed, requesting a waiver to the time limitation, as allowed for in the procedures of Privacy and Fairness complaints, and as has been given in nearly identical situation before, with the first known precedent being the filing against Iran’s Press TV for engaging in identical behaviour as CCTV, in the case of Iranian-Canadian journalist Mazair Bahari[2].


— The Broadcast –


The broadcast was made by CCTV4, 2016-01-20, starting at 21:37:32 local China time (GMT+8) on the program “中文国际” (Zhong Wen Guo Ji, in English: Chinese International). The video is available for viewing on CCTV’s specialized web-viewing platform CNTV here:


[2] Ofcom decision BSC 68(11)

Statement on Wang Quanzhang’s indictment, by Peter Dahlin

By Peter Dahlin

The indictment of Wang Quanzhang has circulated, with one of three points of prosecution resting on Wang’s work with what Chinese prosecutor calls “中国维权紧急援助组”, also known in English as ‘China Action’. His work for cases handled while working for Feng Rui law firm constitutes the other two points.


The co-founder of that small group, Peter Dahlin, is likewise the founder of today’s Safeguard Defenders (which also run, and one of several people who from ‘China Action’ and controls its legacy, including managing all its old documentation. With that in mind, Peter Dahlin today issued this statement.


The very mission of ‘China Action’ was to strengthen enforcement of China’s law,s the very opposite of claims that it was in any way or form working to violate or break Chinese law. There is no legal basis for the prosecution of Wang Quanzhang as presented by the prosecutor, and the court should, without delay, have Wang Quanzhang set free. Likewise, the prosecution of Wang for participating in the now famous Jiansanjiang case have no merit in law, and any legal violations were perpetrated by Jiansanjiang police, not any of the many lawyers involved.


The evidence, as indicated by the prosecutor – according to an older, sealed, indictment, includes testimony from several other people, all but one which was effectively disappeared during their interrogations, placed into ‘residential surveillance at a designated location’ (RSDL). The indictment names Wang Yu, Chen Songzhu, Xing Jianshen and myself, Peter Dahlin. All were held in solitary confinement, without access to a lawyer, incommunicado, and as testimony released before has shown in some of those cases, some received physical and mental torture. Any ‘evidence’ collected through such interrogations should be inadmissible, as per Chinese law.



Knowing, based on what has been said either in public or in private by all those named, there is nothing in what was said in those interrogations that can qualify as evidence for the charge of subverting state power – the crime Wang Quanzhang is charged with. Many other people have been investigated in relation to this accusation, all of whom has been set free. The insistence of using this point to prosecute Wang, but no one else, makes it clear the prosecution has no basis in law and is a political statement from the Chinese government.


No part of ‘China Action’s’ work, focused on training of lawyers in Chinese law, providing legal representation and aid, nor its research and limited reporting, in any way constitute subversion of state power, especially important to note as the group’s mission was to improve the enforcement of Chinese law, the very opposite of violating or breaking said laws. Furthermore, all documentation underpinning the work of ‘China Action’, all the way back to its founding year, 2009, has been preserved and can illustrate every aspect of ‘China Action’s’ work.


More information will be released once more information from the prosecution and court hearing becomes known.



Peter Dahlin


BBC Journalists Union Condemns China’s Broadcaster CCTV

BBC Journalists Union Condemns China’s Broadcaster CCTV and Supports Ofcom Complaint on Forced Confessions


BBC World News AGM: Chapel Meeting – Friday 21st December 2018 1.30pm, Richard Dimbleby Room, B1 NBH


Referral of China Central Television to OFCOM

BBC World News NUJ Chapel notes that China Central Television (CCTV) is opening its largest media hub outside China in Chiswick, employing over 300 staff. According to Reporters Without Borders, China’s state and privately-owned media are under the Communist Party’s close control, while foreign reporters are encountering more and more obstacles. More than 50 journalists and bloggers are currently detained.

This NUJ Chapel condemns moves to deepen control by the Chinese Communist Party of news and information and the online surveillance of its citizens. We also condemn how forced televised confessions, filmed and broadcast by CCTV, are now commonplace in China. 

This Chapel therefore supports the complaint filed by victim and former Reuters journalist Peter Humphrey with OFCOM against CCTV for operating in violation of the regulator’s broadcasting code and for complicity in committing gross human rights violations.  This Chapel states that broadcasters cannot be accomplices to torture.

Proposed: David Campanale

Seconded: Jatinder Dillon



21 December 2018 – The human rights organisation Safeguard Defenders has learned today that BBC television journalists have moved a resolution condemning China’s state broadcaster CCTV over its airing of forced confessions from China in the UK and supporting the recent complaint to Ofcom of victim Peter Humphrey against Chinese TV’s involvement in this human rights abuse.


Mr. Humphrey, a former Reuters correspondent for almost 20 years and then due diligence consultant for 15 years in China, submitted a detailed complaint to Ofcom on 23 November calling for curbs on CCTV’s UK broadcast rights due to CCTV’s role in extracting and broadcasting forced and falsified “confessions” from him and his wife twice (in 2013 and 2014) while they were held under duress in a Shanghai jail on false charges of illegally acquiring private information.


Ofcom is the UK broadcasting regulator which enforces UK broadcasting laws. Mr. Humphrey’s complaint has pinpointed 15 violations of this law by CCTV in its broadcasting of his forced “confession”, centering around CCTV’s violation of the law’s privacy and fairness provisions and the standards of content. Ofcom has yet to reach a decision on Mr. Humphrey’s complaint.


Mr. Humphrey, a British citizen, and his American wife Yingzeng Yu, were incarcerated in Shanghai from July 2013 to June 2015, and Mr. Humphrey was denied medical treatment in captivity, causing cancer.


Safeguard Defenders welcomes the principled decision taken by BBC journalists trade union, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), convened on Friday. This resolution upholds professional ethics and journalistic values against the encroachment of abusive media practices employed by CCTV, an arm of the Chinese Communist Party.


“We call upon all journalists in the UK to act in concert with this move by the NUJ group at the BBC”, Safeguard defenders director Peter Dahlin said.


“I am very grateful for this thoughtful action from the BBC NUJ members and for their devotion to ethical journalism and the law,” Peter Humphrey said. No genuine professional journalist anywhere should accept CCTV’s behaviour.”


Friday’s resolution (above) was adopted by the television arm of the NUJ in BBC Global News.

Further revelations about CCTV’s use of Forced TV Confessions

Following continued research into the phenomenom of Forced TV Confessions (FCs), and in particular research undertaken in collaboration with Swedish journalist and social commentator Kurdo Baksi on the true extent of how these are broadcast outside China, through its various international Channels, this brief post has been drawn up to highlight the key points, and offer an updated version of the earlier database on Forced TV Confessions. New revelations range from which international channels are used, or not used, to broadcast, either directly or repackaged, such FCs internationally, to the companies that airs them abroad – from the United Kingdom to Canada to Sweden and beyond. More data has also come forth about Dong Qian, the former CCTV journalists, expanded role in working with police to make these confessions.


Mass broadcasts of Forced TV Confessions by CCTV/CGTN internationally

At the time of writing, since Xi Jinping came to power, Chinese media, almost always CCTV, have aired 48 TV confessions on primarily national TV. The hidden number of confessions aired but not identified, and confessions aired by regional or provincial TV stations, is likely large. Those 48 confessions videos have targeted at least 106 victims, many of them journalists, lawyers, other rights defenders or those with a strong social media presence. Now, new research has uncovered at least 29 of those videos aired internationally, often in stark violation and in clear breach of target countries’ TV broadcast regulations.

CCTV4, part of CCTV, not the international arm CGTN, airs around the world in Chinese, targeting the Chinese diaspora worldwide, with at least 121 countries receiving its broadcasts. CCTV4, for its broadcasts, hold its own CCTV license in those jurisdictions where a license is required, separate from any CGTN license. It has aired at least 27 TV confessions, and airs such confessions with foreigners in those foreigners’ home countries, from Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the United States.

CGTN – China Global Television Network, has, in additional to CCTV4’s broadcasts, has also broadcast, in reworked segments in English language, eight (8) or more of these confessions. Other CGTN, like CGTN Francais – China’s French-language global channel, has also broadcast several such confessions. No research has been made into CGTN’s Arabic or Russian language broadcasts yet.

For more details, download and view the newly updated database (bilingual) here: Forced TV Confessions Database EN, CN 2018-12-18


Dong Qian: exposed as a key journalist in the attack on 709 lawyers

At the height of use of FCs, often tied to political campaign or crackdowns, against the 709 lawyers, Dong Qian, a high profile journalist with CCTV, emerged as a central figure. Over a period of a year CCTV ran FCs with some 20 different victims, some of whom were paraded on TV multiple times, and Dong Qian has now been named by four of those victims, as well as by Wu Gan, another 709 activist police and CCTV together tried to force to make such a TV recording but refused. As Dr. Liu Sixin exposes in his testimony in the new book on CCTV’s role in these Forced Televised Confessions, Dong Qian is seen not merely being one of several journalists brought in to extract, record, and produce such FCs, but taking an active coordinating role. Several other 709 activists who have been willing to provide background information have not felt secure enough to expose certain details, such as the specific journalists involved, and yet others have been too fearful to speak at all. Nonetheless, Dong Qian’s role in a slew of these, and her key role, often among several other journalists, have been exposed. Dong Qian left CCTV on murky grounds, and for now only rumors exist on how she exited CCTV.

More details on the true scope of CCTV’s collaboration with the Police, and on how Chinese state/party media is now expanding its broadcast and production centers around the world, and how it relates to Xi Jinping’s going out policy, is available in Safeguard Defenders new book, edited by Peter Dahlin, Trial By Media – China’s New Show Trials and the global expansion of Chinese state media.



Foreigners targeted through Forced Televised Confessions

Much has been made of the potential forced TV confessions from current Canadian detainees Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. However, CCTV has not only aired such TV confessions of Canadians before, but aired those confessions in Canada (Chen Zhiheng, Chen Zhiyu). Likewise, confessions by two Swedes, Safeguard Defenders’ Peter Dahlin and Hong Kong-based book publisher Gui Minhai have likewise been aired in Sweden. The list concerning other foreign victims, and broadcasts of their confessions in their home countries, goes on.

So far nine (9) such Forced TV Confessions with foreign victims have been broadcast internationally by CCTV4 – in Chinese, while China Global Television Network (CGTN) have also produced and aired tailored English-language broadcasts, so far eight (8) such Forced TV Confessions have been identified as broadcast on CGTN (English) internationally. In addition, a cursory look shows that some of those have also been aired in French language productions on CGTN Francais. More research could well find more broadcasts on CGTN’s Spanish, Arabic, and Russian channels.

Should Michael Kovrig or Michael Spavor appear on CCTV in a Forced TV Confession, chances are those confessions will likely be broadcast in Canada and around the world too.



Storm brewing over CCTV/CGTN broadcasts in several countries

CCTV4 and CGTN are made available in a great many countries, and is accessible in a variety of forms, from terrestrial broadcasts to Satellite and Cable. The United Kingdom holds one of the strongest TV broadcasting regulatory bodies (Ofcom), and is currently assessing a complaint against CCTV and CGTN made by UK victim Peter Humphrey is collaboration with Safeguard Defenders. The complaint was filed in tandem with a much-covered press conference held in London by Peter Humphrey and Peter Dahlin on November 23 this year.

Both precedent and the official Broadcasting code makes it clear CCTV/CGTN stands a very real risk of losing their license to broadcast there for these systematic and serious breaches of the Broadcasting code. Several additional complaints have been completed and stand ready to be filed.

In Sweden, due to CCTV4s broadcast of those Swedish citizen’s Forced TV Confessions, and due to the work by Swedish journalist Kurdo Baksi, there is a growing discussion of how the media company Telia offers both CCTV4 and CGTN in Sweden, referred to as ‘blood money’ by Sweden’s Peter Dahlin in an open letter in Sweden’s largest newspaper most recently.

In Canada, CCTV4 is being made available through cable transmissions, including by Shaw Communications and Rogers Cable, the latter one of Canada’s largest such provider, and which also offers GCTN. CGTN Francais is likewise available through Bell Fibe TV. In the United States terrestrial, Cable and several Satellite providers offer CCTV4 and CGTN, from DirecTV to Dish Network to Comcast, despite repeat broadcast of Forced TV Confessions of American citizens.


CCTV need be tasked with following existing rules for broadcasting

On Friday, November 23, 2018, Safeguard Defenders organized a press conference in London for a group of 45 invited media, diplomatic and NGO representatives, outlining a complaint filed against China Central Television (CCTV) and its international arm China Global Television (CGTN) with the United Kingdom’s broadcast regulator.

The press conference was hosted by Safeguard Defenders’ Peter Dahlin, and British citizen, former Reuters journalist Peter Humphrey. Alongside presentation of the official complaint, filed with Ofcom at 11:25 that morning, it also constituted the launch event for Safeguard Defenders new book, edited by Peter Dahlin.


Peter Dahlin explains the reality of ‘RSDL’ – residential surveillance at a designated location – and Safeguard Defenders prior book on the subject, “The People’s Republic of the Disappeared”.

The complaint is based on the fact that CCTV collaborated with Chinese police in extracting, recording, producing, and later airing, two confessions by Peter Humphrey, made long before his trial, and against his stated objections. By broadcasting both TV “confessions”, CCTV not only collaborated in denying Mr. Humphrey the right to a fair trial, but by broadcasting it on its international English language channel, including in the UK, it violated the UK’s Broadcasting Code. The same behavior by a state broadcaster has earlier been penalized, in accordance with the Broadcasting code, leading to the revocation of the license for that state broadcaster, Press TV, to broadcast, in the UK.


The complaint, exhaustive in nature, highlights how some twenty aspects of the Broadcasting code has been violated in broadcasting these “confessions”, and the complaint comes as CCTV/CGTN is about to open a major production center in London. The new center is the centerpiece in the European dimension in Xi Jinping’s signature “going out” policy, and is one of several developments, working in tandem, in expanding Chinese party/state influence in Europe. Should the complaint place CCTV/CGTN under review, it will have no choice but to cease broadcasting such “confessions”, or risk losing athe bility to expand its European operations for possibly years to come. Local media in Chiswick Park, the upscale area of London where the new CGTN center is to open, have reported that CIC – China Investment Corporation – paid 780 million pound for purchasing the Chiswick office Park complex.


Mr. Humphrey describes the reality that viewers never got to see.




Mr. Dahlin presents ‘Trial By Media” which exposes the extent of CCTV collaboration, and the systematic nature of these “forced TV confessions”


Alongside presentation of the complaint, and on the role of Ofcom in the UK, in supervising and acting as guarantor that the Broadcasting code in enforced in the UK, the press conference also included Peter Dahlin presenting the new book “Trial By Media”, now available worldwide on Amazon as both paperback and in kindle edition. The book explores the role of CCTV and its journalists in not merely broadcasting, but helping extract, record and produce these “forced TV confessions” systematically since the rise of Xi Jinping, and presents eight victims’ testimonies, written as first person accounts. The book furthermore analyses the “going out” policy of Xi Jinping as it relates to Chinese state media, the massive reorganization of its media empire announced at the national congress in March 2018, and other concurrent developments working in tandem – all with the aim of expanding Chinese influencing operations. It notes, as has been noted in Australia before, how ‘partnerships’ are being used in a massively increased scale the last few years to co-opt or neutralize independent Chinese language media around Europe, and how this, alongside massive investment plans for CCTV’s global operations, is being guided by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department.


Drugged and placed inside a metal cage, cuffed to a chair, inside a detention center room, the police held the script in front of Mr. Humphrey. CCTV journalists filmed as he slurred his answers.


The book is a wakeup call both to the true nature of CCTV as a state/party broadcaster, but also its rapidly expanding reach across the world, including in Europe.



The press conference was completed with a presentation by Peter Dahlin of how Ofcom stands a chance to affect positive change in the behavior of China’s state broadcaster, and that the timing for such, before several soon to be taken steps, in expanding its reach, will maximize its possible result. By placing CCTV under greater scrutiny, a political decision will be forced upon the Chinese Communist Party as to whether CCTV shall continue to collaborate in carrying out gross human rights violations in making and airing such confessions internationally, or if it should change, for the sake of not derailing a very costly, very important, expansion plan directed by Xi Jinping himself.


First response from the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang

We call upon Ofcom to perform its regulatory role in a fair manner, where China’s state broadcaster must be held to the same standards as Iranian media, or for that matter, any and all media that seeks to operate in the UK. Ofcom, a non-political body, has been given the opportunity to affect positive change merely in applying its Broadcasting rules without undue political considerations.


Mr. Humphrey and Mr. Dahlin hand over the complaint to Ofcom on Friday morning.

Chinese broadcasters and media, even those that are a direct arm of the CCP, must be allowed to partake in the broader conversation, in the UK and beyond, and censorship cannot, nor should never, be fought with censorship. Chinese media should be encouraged to fight for viewers and readers, and be allowed to share its perspective on world developments, but such can only be offered with fair, and consistent, application of rules. The UK’s role in the world as a country governed by the rule of law must be protected, and for that, the rules for broadcasters must be applied equally to all. This action by Ofcom will very likely decide whether there will be future British victims of this behavior in China.

Press Conference, London, on CCTV and their international operations

On November 23, a press conference will be held in London, the United Kingdom, co-hosted by Peter Humphrey and Peter Dahlin, related to operations by China’s state media broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), and its international arm China Global Television (CGTN).

To avoid disturbances, the event is closed, and attendance is by RSVP only.  A small number of seats remain for interested parties. Contact Info -at- safeguarddefenders -dot- com for more information.


The press conference will focus on CCTV’s operations in the UK, and its multiple breaches of the UK Broadcasting code, especially in the broadcast of the two forced TV confessions by the British citizen and former journalist Peter Humphrey. Broadcast of such a “confession” in the UK by Iranian state media previously led to the broadcaster, Press TV, being stripped of its broadcasting license in the United Kingdom.

Peter Dahlin, director of Safeguard Defenders, the parent organization of, will likewise present information on the systematic nature of these forced TV confessions, and reveal further information on the active collaboration with police by CCTV and individual journalists. The press conference coincides with the release by Safeguard Defenders of a new book, Trial By Media: China’s new show trials, and the global expansion of Chinese media, focused on Forced TV Confessions, but also the role played by CCTV and state/party media in China’s mounting influencing operations globally.




Book release: Trial By Media

On November 23, 2018, Safeguard Defenders will release its next book, Trial By MediaChina’s new show trials, and the global expansion of Chinese media, edited by Peter Dahlin. The release of this book follows the release of an earlier book, the acclaimed The People’s Republic of the Disappeared, edited by Michael Caster, which exposed the realities behind China’s use of secret prisons through RSDL, and the organization’s groundbreaking research report, Scripted and Staged, into China’s use of forced televised confessions.


If Scripted and Staged provided a peek into the reality behind the use of forced TV confessions, Trial By Media goes further, and with brand new testimonies from victims, some speaking out at considerable risk, the active role of Chinese state media is exposed, and their extensive collaboration with police not merely in broadcasting, but in extracting, recording and producing these confessions. CCTV and other state media’s complicity in gross human rights violations – the denial of the right to a fair trial, is explored.


A press conference will be held in London on November 23, to reveal additional steps being taken against CCTV for its continued broadcasting internationally of “forced TV confessions”. Attendance is by invite and RSVP only. Want to know more? Email info -at- safeguarddefenders -dot- com


The book begins, and ends, by looking at the true nature of CCTV, and how it’s different from how we normally think of a state TV broadcaster. In these chapters, the book delves deep into the role that CCTV, and other state/party media, plays both in the use of forced TV confessions, but also as part of Xi Jinping’s “going out” policy.



The book looks at how China is working to expand its influencing operations internationally, and how the rapid expansion of state/party media, of which CCTV is the flagship, is but one of several trends working in tandem. State media’s expansion is put next to how independent Chinese language media, in countries from Australia to the United States and across Europe, is and has been silenced over the past five years, and how both these developments stand side-by-side under the guise of the United Front Work Department. These developments, alongside the 16+1 initiative in Central- and Eastern Europe, the Belt and Road Initiative, and investment into or purchasing of key media, especially in Africa, are all part of the same strategy, one that seeks to sow division in- and between western countries, and to overturn the current global institutional framework, and replace it with one developed and led by China.


Book released on Amazon worldwide November 23, with both paperback and Kindle editions available.


The emotional center of the book consists of eight testimonials – fully developed short stories -which centers on the use of forced TV confessions, but each which expands into and shows several new trends in China since the rise of Xi Jinping.



As many of the victims are either core targets of the 709 crackdown, or in other ways related to them, the testimonials also offer insight into the Chinese state’s thinking about the rights defense movement, an insight we can gain by reading about the back and forth exchanges between victims and their captors.


The testimony of Zhai Yanmin shows the troubled state of China’s criminal judicial process, where, after several forced TV confessions – the same process starts over, but this time, he is forced to sit down with judge, police, and prosecutor. Once there, together they practice his court appearance, his demeanor, everything – except this time, for his show trial, there could be no retakes.


The star in Professor Liu Sixin’s testimony, like in several others, is CCTV’s Dong Qian, shown to play a very active role in both his and others’ forced TV confessions. Lawyer Wang Yu, whose experience with RSDL has been told before in The People’s Republic of the Disappeared, here reveals how her son was used as a pawn against her, how he was made to attack others, and the torture police used against him to make him cooperate, all of it with a clear purpose, forcing Wang Yu to cooperate and “confess” on TV.


Activist Liu Xing, like several others, remembers how he would be drugged, and how he spent a year after his systematic forced drugging to recover from it. Wen Qing, like Zhai, speaks on how his very identity came under attack because of the TV confessions, and the long road back. Peter Dahlin writes about experiencing going through a lie detector test, all the while his girlfriend was kept incommunicado, in solitary confinement, whilst State Security prodded him to record a “confession” video. With Peter Humphrey, a British former journalist, we learn how he, and his American wife Yu Yingzeng, ended up being paraded on TV as collateral damage into a major corruption scandal that had nothing to do with them, but an international pharmaceutical conglomerate.


The book also offers solutions for what regulatory bodies in target countries can do when it comes to CCTV’s existing or planned presence, and that their presence, and therefore their need to adapt to local rules, can be a silver lining, offering a chance to affect positive change in the behavior of Chinese media, and to their culpability in committing gross human rights violations.


Immediately and Unconditionally Release Huang Qi

China: Immediately and Unconditionally Release Huang Qi & Ensure Access to Prompt Medical Care for all Detained Human Rights Defenders

A group of 14 NGO’s call for Huang Qi’s release and access to medical care.

2018-11-05 — Chinese authorities must immediately and unconditionally release citizen journalist and human rights activist Huang Qi, a group of 14 NGOs said on November 5, 2018.


Huang Qi (黄琦), the founder and director of 64 Tianwang Human Rights Center, is not receiving adequate medical care in detention and his health has seriously deteriorated, according to his lawyer who visited him on October 23. Huang’s condition is so serious that there is an immediate threat to his life.


The Chinese government must immediately and unconditionally release Huang, who has been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression, and end its policy of denying prompt medical treatment to prisoners of conscience, which is a form of torture. Several human rights defenders and ethnic and religious minorities have died in detention in recent years due to a lack of prompt medical treatment, including Liu Xiaobo, Cao Shunli, Yang Tongyan, and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, intensifying fears that Huang Qi might suffer the same fate without urgent intervention.


Huang suffers from a chronic kidney disease which requires daily medication, hydrocephalus (accumulation of fluid in the brain), heart disease and other illnesses. Huang told his lawyer during the October meeting that Sichuan authorities had purposely understated the dire state of his health and had tried to cover up his actual condition. In particular, Huang’s blood pressure was actually much higher than previously revealed, with a reading done on October 18 and 19 in the detention facility measuring 221/147 mm Hg, a reading so high that it qualifies as a “hypertensive crisis” (a normal reading should be no higher than 140/90 mm Hg). Huang has also reported to his lawyers different forms of torture and other ill-treatment to which he has been subjected to in the past two years, including extended interrogations, prolonged periods of being forced to stand, and beatings.


Authorities have repeatedly rejected applications for release on medical bail despite Huang’s heath condition continuing to deteriorate. He faces charges of “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities” and “leaking state secrets” due to his work with 64 Tianwang Human Rights Center, which documents and publishes reports on enforced disappearances, trafficking, human rights violations and complaints against government officials. Huang faces the possibility of life imprisonment. His 85-year-old mother has been campaigning for his release, fearing he may die in prison. Last month two of his associates received suspended prison sentences and were released, but authorities have continued to hold Huang. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an opinion in April 2018 that declared Huang’s detention arbitrary, but the Chinese government continues to ignore the Working Group’s recommendation that Huang be released and compensated.


Lawyers representing Huang Qi have also faced retaliation. One of his lawyers, Sui Muqing, was disbarred in February 2018 for defending human rights defenders, such as Huang. Huang’s current lawyer, Liu Zhengqing, received a notice in October that he is under investigation for giving Huang cigarettes during a meeting in July. Liu faces suspension of his law license or a large fine.


Tomorrow, during China’s 3rd Universal Periodic Review, UN Member States should raise the continued pervasive use of torture and other ill-treatment in China, including tactics like denying medical care for human rights defenders, and make clear calls on the Chinese government to end such practices.




Mianyang City police in Sichuan Province initially detained Huang Qi on November 28, 2016 and arrested him the following month on charges of “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities.” A trial scheduled for June 20, 2018 was suspended without any official reason provided. In October 2018 police added an additional charge of “leaking state secrets.” He is currently being held at Mianyang City Detention Center.


Huang Qi established China’s first-known human rights monitoring website in 1998, disseminating reports about Chinese individuals who had been trafficked and disappeared. Huang has served two prison sentences, totalling eight years, in reprisal for his human rights work, and was often tortured and otherwise to ill-treated. Born in 1963, Huang Qi graduated from Sichuan University and was formerly a businessman. His work in citizen journalism has received international awards, including two from Reporters Without Borders, which awarded 64 Tianwang the Press Freedom Prize in 2016, and honored Huang in 2004 with the Cyber-Freedom Prize.


Co-sponsored by:

Incommunicado detention must go, say UN experts

Background: On May 16, 2018, a joint submission was made by Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), the Rights Practice, and Safeguard Defenders, to relevant Special Procedures of OHCHR concerning China’s use of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, especially the use of RSDL – ‘residential surveillance at a designated location‘.

On August 24, 2018, ten such Special Procedures, including the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance, issued a joint letter to China challenging its use of RSDL, urging China to repeal the system, and noted that the use of RSDL many times meets the condition of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance.


China | Incommunicado detention must go, say UN experts

Geneva, 2018-10-24 — UN experts raise the alarm about the use of ‘residential surveillance in a designated location’, affirming the use of enforced disappearance to muzzle dissent and punish human rights defenders in China.

A mother does not know whether her son’s health is failing.

A lawyer does not know how to defend his client, or else is informed – by a third party – that she has been dismissed by the defendant.

A family loses their income, their home and even the ability to enroll their son in school.

All of the above are the human impacts of a legal form of detention in China known as ‘residential surveillance in a designated location,’ or RSDL, and all are violations of basic human rights. Eighteen UN experts agree, and in August sent a letter to the Chinese government making clear that, for these and many other reasons, the law is incompatible with international law and should be repealed immediately.

The common thread running through the July 2015 or ‘709 crackdown’ in China, and continuing through today, is the use of this nominally-legal measure to detain human rights defenders for up to six months, without access to family or lawyers.

Download the full Joint Submission 2018-05-16 (pdf)


‘Placement in RSDL is tantamount to an enforced disappearance,’ say the experts, in that it consists of placing individuals under incommunicado detention for investigation for prolonged periods without disclosing their whereabouts – in short, in secret detention.

Recommendations from the UN Committee against Torture calling for the repeal of RSDL, made during its 2015 review of China, ‘do not seem to have been taken into account,’ added the experts, who reiterated the fact that if detentions are to be justified, the detainees should be formally accounted for and held in formal places of detention.

‘RSDL is a deliberate measure to detain persons outside the somewhat better monitored and regulated detention centres. It undermines any other efforts by China to prevent the use of torture,’ said Nicola Macbean at The Rights Practice.

Says Sarah M Brooks, Asia advocate at ISHR: ‘Activists and victims have for years emphasized to UN mechanisms that RSDL, no matter the legal basis, is in violation of the Chinese Constitution and China’s international obligations.’

‘The UN has said, repeatedly and unequivocally, that they agree. Nonetheless, China continues to disappear those it deems dangerous – even if, like Gui Minhai, they are not even Chinese citizens.’

On arbitrary detention, the experts add that ‘the extensive powers attributed to the police with regard to RSDL cases pose serious concerns with regard to… the independence of the judiciary.’ This is exacerbated by a series of SPP rulings and revised regulations that limit the ability of lawyers to take on such cases without themselves risking retaliation by relevant authorities, such as the suspension or revocation of their license or even criminal indictment.

Download the Joint Letter by the Special Procedures 2018-08-24 (pdf)


The Measures for the Administration of Law Firms and Measures on the Administration of Lawyers’ Practice have further hampered lawyers’ freedom of assembly, speech and expression, says Albert Ho, the Chairperson of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.

Ho adds, ‘A total of 17 human rights lawyers have had their licenses revoked or invalidated since 2017, with more than half of them involved in cases related to the 709 Crackdown.’

Risks of torture are almost inevitable in such incommunicado detention, a fact not exclusive to China. But the experts specify that many forms of acts which may amount to torture are not defined as such in Chinese law. This includes excessively long solitary confinement and interrogation, as well as threats against and harassment of family members.

Take the case of human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang. Wang has been missing for over three years, says Michael Caster of Safeguard Defenders, including six months in RSDL, ‘apparently locked up because he dared to use Chinese law to defend the rights of persecuted minorities.’

‘Wang’s family has not only been refused any information about his location or condition, but has also been subject to relentless persecution by the state,’ says Caster.

Wang’s wife, Li Wenzu, has been surveilled and detained due to her activism on his case, and their son was prevented from enrolling in kindergarten.

Additionally, forced medical treatment – along with the more traditional denial of adequate medical treatment – raised concerns as related to the protection and realization of the right to an adequate standard of health.

‘Denying detainees urgent medical treatment is a malicious form of torture and cruel punishment,’ said Renee Xia, international director of the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

‘The Chinese government should not enjoy impunity for the recent deaths in custody of Chinese human rights defenders like Liu Xiaobo, Cao Shunli, and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.’

Download Safeguard Defenders submission to the Universal Periodic Review of China (Coming: November 6) (pdf)


The experts conclude that ‘RSDL… is being used to muzzle the peaceful and legitimate rights to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly and association of individuals expressing dissenting or critical views… and extends the police and the public security organs’ discretionary powers to arbitrary arrest and unlawfully detain individuals and in conditions that may amount to secret detention and enforced disappearance.’

This letter to the government was sent at a time when the National People’s Congress was meant to be considering a series of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law. Such processes, while accommodating a box-checking exercise of soliciting public input, should reflect the UN experts’ concerns. The Chinese government has not yet responded to the letter. Human rights groups, however, hold out limited hope that the letter alone will result in changes in China’s law and practices.

‘A letter alone is of limited utility, especially in China. Defenders who might seek to use this to press for reforms would, in doing so, risk detention themselves,’ says Brooks.

‘However, we hope that governments around the world who support the work of human rights defenders and those who know firsthand the serious impacts of enforced disappearance will take this forward.’

Xia concurs: ‘UN human rights bodies, and governments at the Universal Periodic Review, must continue to raise this pattern of abuse at all times.

The UN’s Universal Periodic Review of China, to be held on 6 November, is a chance for governments to press for the abolition of ‘residential surveillance in a designated location’ and all similar practices, and the release of and provision of remedy to victims of RSDL – brave defenders like Wang Quanzhang.

This statement has been endorsed by the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, the International Service for Human Rights, the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Safeguard Defenders, and The Rights Practice.

For more information, please contact: Sarah M. Brooks at s.brooks[at] or on Twitter @sarahmcneer.



Download Press Release 2018-10-24 (pdf)



Bảo vệ kỹ thuật số thực hành


Hướng dẫn bảo mật kỹ thuật số thực hành phiên bản tiếng Việt trên

Bảo vệ kỹ thuật số thực hành là một tài liệu hướng dẫn tự học về an ninh mạng cho những người hoạt động trong môi trường thù địch. Tài liệu này xác định các rủi ro và cá pháp dựa trên hành vi của người sử dụng. Giải pháp công nghệ chỉ là thứ cấp.c giải pháp, và không giống như các tài liệu khác, tập trung vào các biện

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Lời giới thiệu: An ninh mạng dựa trên hành vi là một tài liệu tập ngắn trung vào việc cải thiện an ninh và an toàn kỹ thuật số dựa vào hành vi an toàn, bằng cách giúp bạn thay đổi thói quen sử dụng máy tính và điện thoại theo cách mà có thể tăng sự an toàn cho bạn, người cùng hoạt động và nguồn tin.

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Để biết thêm thông tin hoặc yêu cầu trợ giúp và đào tạo, liên hệ với Safeguard Defenders.