Modern day usage
Since 2001, as part of its War on Terror the United States using the CIA operates a network of off shore prisons, called black sites, probably the most famous of which is Guantánamo Bay detention camp.
State officials have admitted to the press and in court to be using various torture techniques (authorised by the District attorney) to interrogate suspects of terrorism, sometimes after forced disappearance or .
When these systematic acts were made public by the international media, the European Union, United Nations, the international press and various human rights movements condemned their practice.
The US Supreme Court did not discontinue their usage and repeatedly ruled against hearing citizens that underwent forced confessions, even after they were found innocent, claiming that a trial would constitute a breach of national security.
A famous case is that of Khalid El-Masri. He appealed several times aided by different international human rights movements and lawyers, yet the US Supreme Court retained its usage of forced confession techniques, and denied a hearing of the evidence.
Forced televised confessions in China
The People's Republic of China systematically employed forced televised confession against Chinese dissidents and workers of various human rights group in an attempt to discredit, smear and suppress dissident voices and activism. This facet of state propaganda has come under the spotlight. These scripted confessions, obtained via systematic duress and torture, are broadcast on the state television. Notable victims includes Wang Yu, a female human rights lawyer, and Swedish citizen Peter Dahlin, an NGO worker and human rights activist. By the same token, owners of Causeway Bay Books – Gui Minhai and Lam Wing-kee – who were abducted by state security operating outside of Mainland China, also made such controvertial confessions. Upon regaining his freedom, Lam detailed his abduction and detention, and recanted his confessions in Hong Kong to the media.
These televised confession and acts of contrition have been denounced as frauds by critics. Media organisations in China and in Hong Kong, including the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, have come under criticism for abetting the practice by circulating the “confessions” and in some cases even participating in them. Safeguard Defenders released a report in April 2018 in which 45 high-profile examples of the so-called confessions were broadcast between July 2013 and February 2018. More than half of the subjects were journalists lawyers, and other individuals involved in promoting human rights in China. The confessions were mostly by the subjects outside of the formal legal framework, in the absence of a trial, and without regard for the presumption of innocence under Chinese law. Many of those forced to record confessions explained to SD in detail how the videos were carefully scripted and made under the watchful eye of agents of the security apparatus, demonstrating their powerlessness once they are within the opaque Chinese legal system.