US concerned people coerced to 'confess' crimes on TV in China

CCTV last week aired separate footage that showed Swedish national Gui Minhai and Swedish activist Peter Dahlin "confessing" their guilt.

PTI| Updated: Jan 22, 2016, 15:07 PM IST
US concerned people coerced to 'confess' crimes on TV in China

Washington: The US has voiced concern over reports that an increasing number of people in China including Europeans were being apparently coerced to "confess" alleged crimes on state media even before the commencement of trial.

"The United States is concerned about the growing number of people in China recently also including European citizens who appear to have been coerced to confess to alleged crimes on state media, often before the commencement of any trial or the announcement of any charges," State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.

"Some of these people have not been afforded legal or consular representation, and there are also instances in which foreign nationals appear to have been brought to mainland China against their will and by extra-legal means," he said.

"These actions undermine China's claim to be a rule of law society and run contrary China's human rights commitments and hinder its attempts to build a more transparent and effective justice system," Toner told reporters yesterday.

China's state-run China Central Television (CCTV) last week aired separate footage that showed Swedish national Gui Minhai and Swedish activist Peter Dahlin "confessing" their guilt.

Gui is a co-owner of a publisher with links to a Hong Kong store that sells books critical of China's ruling Communist Party. Dahlin is involved in a group working to improve the human rights situation in China.

State-run TV said Gui is suspected of fleeing China after receiving a suspended prison sentence for causing a fatal traffic accident in 2003.

It said Dahlin is accused of supporting activities that threaten China's national security.