In wake of UN Watch’s campaign, the World Health Organization has now announced it is reviewing the role of its Goodwill Ambassador James Chau, a news presenter with China Central Television, according to an exclusive report on May 29 by the Financial Times:
The World Health Organization has launched an internal review into the position of one of its celebrity ambassadors who was involved in the airing of an allegedly forced confession on Chinese state television.
The UN agency told the Financial Times it was reviewing the role of James Chau, a high-profile television news anchor with China’s state broadcaster who has been a goodwill ambassador since 2016.
Mr Chau presented a programme on state-owned China Central Television that in 2013 aired a confession by British businessman Peter Humphrey, which he alleges was filmed under duress. Mr Humphrey was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after becoming embroiled in an investigation into pharmaceuticals group GlaxoSmithKline.
Since being deported from China and contesting his conviction for allegedly obtaining information illegally, he has said that journalists from CCTV filmed him reading a fake confession prepared by Chinese police as he sat locked to a chair inside a metal cage.
The FT further reports:
The WHO said in a statement: “The matter is taken seriously, as any such complaint would be. It is currently under internal review, and therefore cannot be commented on.”
Neither Mr Chau nor China Global Television Network, the international arm of CCTV, responded to requests by the FT for comment.
Scrutiny into Mr Chau’s role comes as the WHO faces criticism for its close relations with China, including its praise for Beijing’s early handling of the coronavirus outbreak. It has since been claimed that Beijing suppressed early warnings by medical professionals and experts.
FT Exclusive: The World Health Organization has launched an internal review into the role of James Chau, a news anchor and celebrity ambassador who was involved in the broadcast of an allegedly forced confession on Chinese state television https://t.co/ISD4jJQ1wi pic.twitter.com/EfMy4rbozX
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) May 29, 2020