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Pesan kiriman: Rachmat Pudiyanto:Commission probes China’s alleged violation of RI press freedom

Untuk anggota Dukung Kebebasan Pers di Indonesia

Erwida Maulia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/10/2010 7:19 PM | National

Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights is investigating allegations the Chinese government intervened in the issuance of broadcasting rights to a local radio station affiliated with Falun Gong.

Commissioner Johny Nelson Simanjuntak said Wednesday the commission would seek explanations from the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) on its refusal to approve a broadcasting license for the station, and to the Communications and Information Ministry for its order for the station to be taken off the air.

Neither the KPI or the ministry had explained to the Batam-based Radio Erabaru the reasons behind their decisions, Johny said, adding that in terms of technical operations and substance the station had not violated existing regulations.

Radio Erabaru director Raymond Tan said the station’s difficulties had begun after Chinese Embassy representatives met with the KPI in 2007 and sent letters to the Foreign Ministry requesting the station stop broadcasting.

He said the same letters were also sent to the Home Ministry and State Intelligence Agency.

“We will also ask the [Indonesian] Foreign Ministry to facilitate a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia to request his explanation on what their intentions were with these letters,” Johny said.

“This is a violation of Indonesia’s press freedom by the Chinese government, which could set a bad precedent. Other countries could follow suit,” he said.

Radio Erabaru has been operating since 2005 with permission from Riau administration. The station’s application for a broadcast license from KPI was rejected in late 2007 without clear explanation, Raymond said.

Raymond admitted to be a follower of the Falun Gong movement, which is banned in China. He said the station, which sometimes broadcasts in Chinese, had often reported alleged rights abuses in China, such as those endured by Falun Gong followers and Uighur Muslims, and conflicts in Tibet.

Raymond said he was in the process of lodging an appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the KPI decision, but had received four letters from the Batam Radio Frequency Spectrum Monitoring Agency, a body under the Information and Communications Ministry, which ordered Radio Erabaru to stop broadcasting.

Johny said the order was “outrageous” and unethical, considering that the legal process in the case was still going on.

The Chinese Embassy, meanwhile, has not responded to The Jakarta Post’s questions on the issue.

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