Indonesia: Sound of Hope Radio Network shut down by Indonesian government
September 19, 2011, 9:38 pm
On 25 March 2010, staff from the Indonesian government’s Radio Frequency Spectrum Monitoring Center confiscated Sound of Hope’s broadcast equipment, making the station go silent.Known locally as Era Baru Radio, the station broadcasts news programs critical of the Chinese communist regime and its human rights abuses. Sound of Hope has been facing mounting pressure from the Chinese Embassy in Jakarta to end its broadcast. It has been fighting for its broadcast license in a Supreme Court case for the last three years.
But it appears that that’s all come to an end.
The move has shocked many press advocates in the country, who gathered to hold a press conference one day after the incident.
[Hendrayana; Director, Legal Aid Foundation for Press]:
“I consider it an unreasonable action by the Radio Frequency Spectrum Monitoring Center. We will take legal action on this forceful shutdown. Otherwise it will set a bad precedent.”
The owner of Indonesia’s Sound of Hope says the Chinese regime is to blame.
[Gatot Machali; Owner, Sound of Hope Radio Indonesia]:
“Using their power and authority, they took out our transmitter so we can’t continue our broadcasting. The meaning of this, well, behind this there is a strong intervention from China, really putting pressure on the Indonesian government.”
[Wahyu Dhyatmika, Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists]:
“We’re planning now to make a legal claim to Riau Province’s regional police department for this unreasonable action which disturbs Indonesian press freedom.”
The Legal Aid Foundation for the Press also sent an official letter to the Indonesian president, Indonesian police department, National Human Rights Commission, and Minister of Communication and Information protesting the shutdown.