China Bans BBC World News for ‘Seriously Violating’ Regulations

BBC had aired a controversial report on human rights violations of the Uighur minority.

2 min read
According to reports, a statement to this effect was issued by China’s National Radio and Television Administration. 

BBC World News has been banned in mainland China for 'content violation', news agency AFP reported on Thursday, 11 February. The British television network had aired a controversial report on human rights violations of the Uighur minority, a claim China has vehemently denied.

In February, BBC aired a report in China featuring Uighur women talking about being “systematically raped, abused and tortured” in camps, called “re-education camps” in Xinjiang. This report was called false by China’s foreign ministry.

Another documentary about the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, and how the Chinese government allegedly covered it up was also aired, reported AFP.

According to Reuters, a statement to this effect was issued by China's State Film, National Radio and Television Administration, which cited a probe that found BBC World News' China coverage to have "seriously violated" regulations and undermined national unity.

The statement added that “the requirement that news should be truthful and fair” and not “harm China’s national interests” was violated. BBC is no longer permitted to continue broadcasting in China, and its application to air for another year wouldn’t be accepted, stated BBC, which put out a statement expressing its disappointment at the censorship.

“We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action. The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favour,” the BBC said in its statement.

An estimate of over a million Uighurs and other minorities have been detained in camps, reported BBC. China’s UK ambassador Liu Xiaoming told the BBC last year that reports of these “concentration camps were fake,” and there was no discrimination against minority communities.

China’s move to censor BBC has come after Britain’s regulator Ofcom revoked the license of CGTN, a Chinese broadcaster for breaking UK law on state-backed ownership since it was owned by Star China Media LTD, noted AFP. China said the decision was based on "ideological prejudice and political reasons."

(With inputs from BBC, Reuters and AFP)

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