Indonesia shuts down Falun Gong radio station

13 Apr

On Tuesday (March 23, 2010) morning, local police and officials from the Riau Islands Radio Frequency Monitoring Body (Balmon) confiscated the equipment after warning the station to stop broadcasting without a valid license, sources from the Jakarta Post.

Waving banners, about 20 members of the station’s supporters held a rally outside the government monitoring office, protesting the closure of the station.

The station has an appeal working through the Supreme Court after two lower courts threw out a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology’s 2008 denial of its license.

Tifatul Sembiring, the minister of communications and information technology, reasserted his support of press freedom in the country in a March 18 discussion with journalists and media activists.

Gatot Dewa Broto, a spokesman for the Ministry of Communication and Information, confirmed the station was shut down but denied any Chinese role. Instead, he said the radio station did not have the correct permit to broadcast.

“Such a measure of restoring law and order is a normal thing,” he said.

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