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Tied up on the tiger chair

It is the 24. August 2013, a Saturday, when you get him out of his cell. In captivity, the British business man, Peter Humphrey, has been sitting for several we

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Tied up on the tiger chair

It is the 24. August 2013, a Saturday, when you get him out of his cell. In captivity, the British business man, Peter Humphrey, has been sitting for several weeks, in the infamous Shanghai prison in the East of the city, 15 square metres with twelve other detainees. His wife sits in a cell two floors above it.

The police officer, this Morning in the cell of the Britons, says: "Our bosses want you to meet the media." So it is told Humphrey in retrospect. When he's with the journalists speech, promising him at the time, the officials, could have a positive impact on its process. At the time that the 57-Year-old is sceptical, agrees to a conversation. That he wants to be filmed or photographed, he writes on a piece of paper and hands it to the policeman.

statement on drugs

The official Humphrey fix it in a cage to a tiger chair as the iron torture racks in China. The tie cords so tight in the arms and legs, that Humphreys limbs are numb. Exhausted and drugged, he must testify in front of the camera.

The images are part of court proceedings. You have to run later in the Chinese evening program as a Thriller. It's just that Humphrey is not an actor, but a defendant without an indictment.

Five years later, the composite Material can be used as evidence for the British media regulator Office of Communications (Ofcom) in London. There, the British citizen has filed a complaint. The accusation: His forced confession, the state television broadcast not only in China, but on its channels around the world – also in the UK. The contrary to the British media code of conduct, argues Humphrey. Ofcom confirmed the complaint, could lose the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV in the country of his license and media authority set a precedent for procedure in other countries. Also in Sweden, Canada, France and the US, such recordings have been broadcast. Further claims are in preparation.

Beijing's view of the world comes to the world

The decision could have a worldwide signalling effect. In December of CCTV and its international channel CGTN have opened their European headquarters in London. At least 350 journalists to report from there – twice as many as in Washington and Nairobi. President Xi Jinping said in October 2017, the transmitter should win the "hearts and minds" abroad. This is "essential for the great resurgence of the Chinese people".

Six billion dollars the state provides in 2020 for the international Propaganda Offensive. In the future, CCTV, China Radio International and the Chinese National Radio should merge with the media giant's Voice of China.

the aim of the Offensive: "to consolidate the rule of the KP on the media and public opinion," as it is called in official papers. The state broadcaster media houses take over the world or cooperate with media, to articles in the state press. True to the Chinese proverb: lend a boat to cross the sea. Beijing's view of the world, broadcast in 60 languages, in 170 countries, 24 hours a day.

Humphrey knows nothing

2013, Peter Humphrey will be a part of this story. For many years the British, and his wife Yu advised Yingzeng international corporations in China, in order to investigate internal corruption and allegations of fraud. About 700 cases he worked on with his company, ChinaWhys, which he had founded with headquarters in Shanghai in the 90s. In April of the same year, the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) engaged him. It should be his last job.

The China-in-chief of the company is at this time under pressure. An employee, who had to leave the group, to blackmail the company with allegations of corruption, allegedly, it comes to revenge. At the same time the management Board receives a Video taken in the apartment of the Manager, which shows the man during Sex with a Chinese woman. That the allegations are true, the Chinese authorities identify long against GSK China, don't know Humphrey at this time. He created a safety analysis for the company, examined the private apartment of the Manager. On 6. June, he and his wife submit their report.

100 confessions

sent a Short time later, Chinese authorities search the corporate offices of the British group. In September 2014, GSK in China is sentenced to a record fine of 3 billion Yuan, at the time, around 450 million francs. The China-in-chief gets away with a suspended sentence. For Humphrey, it is not over. A month after he has filed his report, is seeking the office of his own company. The authorities accuse him of, to have "illegal data of Chinese citizens".

Humphrey, who denies it to this day. He believes that it was something else: the name of The woman he's determined to have used your Connections to the Shanghai city government, to have the couple arrested. After months in detention, both sentenced in August 2014. Humphrey to 30 months, wife Yu to 24 months. In this time, the police officers force him twice, in the television about the allegations against him to testify. His case is internationally reported. The authorities hope to flip this sentiment against the British.

Humphreys forced confessions, which are condemned by human rights organizations as torture, are not an isolated case. About 100 such confessions have been broadcast since July 2013 in China. They failed also in China against the Constitution. At least 27 of these have also been on the international, Chinese-language channel CCTV4 in 121 countries around the world broadcast. The English-language channel CGTN reported in at least 8 cases. The French-language branch of the broadcaster to have aired forced confessions, as people reported, the legal organization Safeguard Defenders.

go to the fellow inmates

Humphrey lives with his wife meanwhile, in a village in the South of England. It is so small that the houses have names. Nothing remembers his old life, to the 20 years that he has lived in Beijing, where his son grew up. One day in December, Humphrey sits on his Couch and slips alternately to the edge and back. His voice is rough, you have to forward in order to understand him. Humphrey looks at the recordings from back then, and recognize himself again, he says. Again and again he looks to the TV, as he would expect, that this jump could, and he would have to see again what he wants to forget. Also, he and his wife often look for shots that are still to be found on the Internet and other media have been taken up.

After 23 months, the former was dismissed in private investigator 2015, under pressure from the British government in advance. Doctors diagnosed him with cancer, his health condition today is critical. He struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, for longer conversations, it is sometimes just black in his head. Somebody turned the light out. Then you have to repeat his last words.

The lawsuit in the UK, is for him an admission that he could not change the Situation in China. This, he says it is him but also to many of his fellow prisoners, for no message, and no Journalist reports. In the UK, no one is above the law: "In my country, the rule of law." And if the party in China will not rule on the basis of the law, but through the law, then this should feel at least abroad, there are limits.


The criticism of the public surveys in China is largely without consequences remained. No longer apart from the fact that the police prisoners is in orange-colored clothes and in cages wedges, but casual clothes überstreift and the bed edges in Hotels. The method itself, nothing has changed.

A broadcasting ban, or a potential financial penalty in the UK would only be a small victory for Humphrey. But for him, it's also about the regain what he lost in August five years ago: control over himself and his life. At least in the South of England, in a small house at the end of the road, you are no longer allowed to pursue him. Not even in the television.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 28.12.2018, 20:42 PM

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