The BBC airs an hour-long documentary tonight about "Interviews Before Execution," a hit talk show in China in which host Ding Yu interviews prisoners on death row. Some 40 million viewers in China tune in to the show each week.
Days, hours, or minutes before they are killed, the host talks inside prison to those who have been condemned to die. The BBC doc combines clips from the show with "never-before-seen footage of China's death row," and includes an interview with a local judge who questions the future of the death penalty in China.
More about the documentary, from the BBC website:
To Western eyes the show's format may seem exploitative, but Ding disagrees.
"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 says.
"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.'"
Interviews Before Execution was first broadcast on 18 November 2006 on Henan Legal Channel, one of 3,000 state-owned TV stations in China. Ding interviewed a prisoner every week until the programme was taken off air.
Exactly how many prisoners are executed each year in China? No one seems to know, but the number is estimated to be in the thousands. According to a 2011 Amnesty International report, China is number one in kill count among nations that use capital punishment. The USA is also in the top five, but with a 2010 count of 46 executions—a long way off from the top contender. Regarding China's use of the death penalty, Amnesty reports that "Thousands are believed to be executed every year," but "Authorities remain highly secretive about its use."
Related reading: ABC News, Daily Mail, NY Post, NYT/IHT.
PBS International has rights on a related documentary. No air date planned inside the US just yet, from what I understand.
It's very Idiocracy, or Network, no?
Robert Kuttner is a veteran left-wing reporter who writes for the left-leaning American Prospect; while he was on vacation, Steve Bannon’s assistant tracked him down and asked him if he’d talk to Bannon.
Looks like Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have been working with the government of China to discreetly roll out a photo sharing service that’s basically ‘Moments’ lite. Just one thing. It carries absolutely zero Facebook branding. And another. It appears designed not to piss China’s internet censors off.
If you owe someone money in China and kidnap them to get paid, the police are likely to treat the whole thing as a civil matter of “unlawful detention” and stay out of it (especially if the debtor is a foreigner and the lender is Chinese).
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]