Dead show walking: China's death row interviews series faces axe
There were question marks yesterday over the future of one of China's most popular television shows, "Interviews Before Execution", in which death row prisoners are interviewed shortly before their execution, after its presenter was the subject of a BBC documentary.
The aim of the show, which has been broadcast by Legal TV channel for the past five years and is anchored by Yu Ding, is to highlight the deterrent effect of the death sentence by showing prisoners, sometimes minutes before they are shot or killed by lethal injection.
However, the show may have become the victim of its own success after international TV stations, including the BBC, made documentaries about the programme.
"Interviews Before Execution" is not broadcast nationwide, but episodes can be viewed online. Some appeared to have been taken down yesterday.
There was confusion last night about the future of the show. News reports yesterday that suggested it was being cancelled because of "internal problems" were denied by officials at Legal TV.
The show screens to millions in Henan, China's most populous province, every week. While it is gruesome and voyeuristic, it is also considered compulsive viewing.
Ms Yu has interviewed more than 200 men and women. Prisoners who have featured on the show include a murderer who had just turned 18 at the time of his conviction, a man who defiled his mother's dead body after killing her, and a gang who kidnapped a girl and killed her when the family could not raise the ransom.
She does not believe the show is exploitative. "Some viewers may consider it cruel to ask a criminal to do an interview when they are about to be executed. On the contrary, they want to be heard," she said in an interview with the BBC.
"Some criminals I interviewed told me: 'I'm really very glad. I said so many things in my heart to you at this time. In prison, there was never a person I was willing to talk to about past events'."
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...