On January 15, at the European Parliament (EP) General Assembly in Strasbourg, France EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering announced that the written declaration urging Eutelsat to restore NTDTV’s broadcast into China signed by five EP members has become an EP resolution that will be sent to the 27 EP member countries and Eutelsat.
New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) is a non-profit television broadcaster and the only independent Chinese-language television to broadcast into China, providing objective, uncensored news to people since 2004.
However, France-based satellite provider company Eutelsat has terminated NTDTV’s broadcast into China since June 16, 2008, citing technical reasons. A July 10 investigative report by Reporters Without Borders revealed that the broadcast termination was a premeditated act, owing to influence from the Chinese regime ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
Since then, NTDTV and its supporters have been calling on officials from various circles to urge Eutelsat to stop aiding the Chinese Communist Party in their effort to deprive people’s rights to know the truth. NTDTV’s campaign has spread all over Europe and threatens Eutelsat’s image.
NTDTV commented that EP’s support for the Chinese people and their freedom of information is of great significance. NTDTV spokeswoman Hong Kaili said that this was the first time the EP has officially adopted a written declaration concerning press freedom and human rights in China, making the measure a historically significant event. She said the declaration demonstrated not only support for NTDTV, but also international freedom for media in general, as well as public resistance to the Chinese Communist Party’s interference of Western society.
Hong urged officials and personalities from all circles and international societies to put pressure on Eutelsat to re-open the only window of information freedom available to mainland China, and restore access to uncensored news for its people.