Tue, Oct 10, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Su warns protesters about radios

ILLEGAL?The premier said that the use of radios by protesters at today's `siege' may be unlawful but his assertion was contradicted by the NCC chairman

By Jimmy Chuang and Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

A couple yesterday takes a stroll by barbed wire barricades erected around the Presidential Office by the Taipei City Police Department to help control the protesters and supporters of President Chen Shui-bian expected on Double Ten National Day today.

PHOTO: CHEN TSE-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that "siege" protest organizers who attempt to "give orders" by radio may be breaking the law.

"It is my understanding that a permit for the activity [the siege protest] has not been approved as yet. As long as it is not a legal activity, by law, they [protesters] are not allowed to use radio stations to give orders or they will be violating the Broadcasting and Television Law (廣播電視法)," Su said.

The premier made his remarks when approached by reporters for comments yesterday morning. In addition, Government Information Office Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said that he had no idea how protesters would take advantage of radio to communicate with each other.

He said he believed that the National Communications Commission (NCC) would get involved and take appropriate action if any broadcasting violations were discovered.

Comments by NCC Chairman Su Yeong-ching (蘇永欽) contradicted what Su said.

"I think their [the protesters] utilization of radio will be fine as long as they go through legal radio stations with operating licenses," Su Yeong-ching said. "As long as the messages they broadcast have nothing to do with violence or pornography, they will not violate any law."

In the meantime, the premier also said that he and his fellow Cabinet members would participate in celebrations to be held in front of the Presidential Office today.

"It is my sincere hope that my fellow Taiwanese citizens will celebrate the country's birthday instead of doing anything which will cause embarrassment to the country, the president and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is the organizer of the celebrations, in front of so many foreign visitors," the premier said.

Meanwhile, Wen Jiun-yu (溫俊瑜), the deputy director of the NCC, said yesterday that it would be against the law if the anti-corruption protest headquarters decides to use underground radio stations to give orders and make announcements about today's siege.

However, it will be considered appropriate if radio stations spread news through interviewing the event organizers.

Should the headquarters announce the news on radio by purchasing air time, the content could only be reviewed after it was broadcast, he said.

Wen added that radio stations are required to keep broadcast materials, including programs and commercials, for at least three months before disposing of them.

The commission is entitled to review these materials if controversy over the legality of the content arises.

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