Britain's communications regulator Ofcom has been criticized for its decision to ban and fine China Global Television Network (CGTN) for political reasons.
A group of journalists, filmmakers and artists recently challenged Ofcom's "act of censorship" in an open letter published by the No Cold War campaign and the Morning Star.
"The decision by Ofcom to remove the broadcasting license of CGTN is an act of censorship which is not in the interests of Britain and its people," the open letter said, calling the move an "attack on free speech."
Ofcom revoked the license of CGTN to broadcast in the UK in early February on the grounds of its ultimate control and its political attributes. Beijing slammed the move as political repression against Chinese media.
In their letter, the signatories questioned Ofcom's justification for banning CGTN.
"Ofcom's justification for taking CGTN off air is that any holder of a broadcasting license in Britain must not be controlled by political bodies. However, this law is only selectively applied. Numerous private and state channels have clear political agendas or control – the BBC itself, for example, which had its staff vetted by MI5, has not had its broadcasting license revoked," it said.
The letter urged Ofcom to reverse its decision and reinstate CGTN's license.