Tra vecchi e nuovi media le voci libere sono sempre più difficili da imbavagliare, specie quando qualche magistrato coraggioso sceglie per non darla sempre vinta ai padroni del vapore. Leggetevi il testo del comunicato governativo e la notizia pubblicato dal The Standard di Hong Kong. Sul sito di OFTA ci sono anche altri comunicati relativi all'azione giudiziaria in corso e ai suoi inattesi effetti. La violazione di una ordinanza dell'OFTA, se sanzionata, può comportare una pena di cinque anni di galera e centomila dollari di multa.
January 10, 2008 Broadcasting
Illegal radio transmission under probe
Office of the Telecommunications Authority
The Office of the Telecommunications Authority is investigating the suspected use of unlicensed radio-transmission equipment by Citizens' Radio following an unlicensed radio transmission, at 102.8 MHz.
The radio transmission mainly relayed the voice contents of an open forum held by Citizens' Radio in Mong Kok tonight. OFTA said today all unauthorised or unlicensed broadcasting activities remain a criminal offence as the Eastern Magistrate decided on January 8 to suspend his ruling regarding the licensing regime's constitutionality and the outcome of the appeal is pending.
Anyone who carries out or participates in such activities may be liable to prosecution, the office warned. The High Court granted an injunction this afternoon to stop Citizens' Radio's unlicensed broadcasting activities. Anyone implicated in violating the injunction will constitute contempt of court. Anyone assisting the implicated persons in violating the injunction, including participating in illegal broadcasting, may also constitute contempt of court, the office added.
OFTA added it would prosecute the offenders under the Telecommunications Ordinance if there is sufficient evidence.
Unlicensed radio transmitters may cause harmful interference to other legitimate spectrum users. Breaching section 8 of the ordinance is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and five years in jail while an offender under section 23 may face a maximum penalty of $50,000.
Eleventh-hour bid to silence radio rebels
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The Department of Justice yesterday sought a High Court injunction and more severe punishment in an attempt to prevent Citizens' Radio from resuming broadcasts today.
The 5pm move came after Citizens' Radio operators vowed to resume transmission regardless of a stay in the judgment of a magistrate who on Tuesday declared the broadcasting ordinance breached the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights.
Citizens' Radio founder Tsang Kin-shing said he was unsure whether broadcasts from a Mong Kok pedestrian street would be held this evening since the hearing on the injunction had been adjourned until 11 this morning.
Counsel representing defendants acquitted in the original trial told the court an injunction was unfair as the Office of the Telecommunications Authority was seeking to punish the broadcasters with contempt of court in addition to operating without a license.
The Department of Justice argued the injunction was needed as some lawmakers were ready to appear on Citizens' Radio. The department said this was a direct challenge to the law.
It feared the transmissions of Citizens' Radio and prospective unlicensed channels would interfere with emergency services.
Despite the stay it said the ruling by Eastern magistrate Douglas Yau Tak-hong that the Telecommunications Ordinance was unconstitutional had created a legal vacuum.
Lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung told the court the government should charge the operators with operating a radio station without a license instead of bringing in a new charge of contempt of court should they resume broadcasting.
Tsang told the court OFTA had confirmed that FM 102.8 Mhz - the frequency Citizens' Radio has been using since its debut in 2005 - had not interfered with other services.
He said OFTA's claim of a possible increase in the number of unlicensed radio stations was hypothetical.
On Tuesday, Yau said the criteria for issuing a broadcasting license was unclear and that the lack of independence and unchecked power of the ordinance breached the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Basic Law and the Bill of Rights.