On October 22nd, 2008, three members of the European Parliament and representatives from New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) held a joint press conference in the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. They called on the European Parliament and its president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to be concerned and take immediate action in pressuring Eutelsat in France to resume NTDTV's broadcast into China.
NTDTV is very important for Chinese people
At the conference, Helga Trupel, MP of the EU from the Green Party in Germany, said, “For Chinese people, It is very important to resume the signal of the NTD TV because it can have Chinese people know true information such as the scandal of the poisonous milk having recently been exposed by the media. “
She pointed out that EU institutions, in particular president Sarkozy, have the duty to urge Eutelsat to restore NTDTV's signal because "according to the information we have, it is not a technical problem but pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (the CCP) regime which led to NTDTV's signal being stopped before the Olympic Games".
Ms. Trupel stressed that freedom of the press and human rights were universal values, the members European Parliament had the duty to defend them. Marco Cappato, an MP from the Liberal and Democratic Union in Italy said that in his double positions both as a co-coordinator from the Liberal Democratic Union and a member of the Human Rights Committee in the European Parliament, he gave his support in the motion calling on to resume the signal of the NTD TV and encouraged other MPs to sign it. The EU and its member states should take a strong, firm and clear position so that the NTD TV’s signal will be resumed.
The EU should stand up to pressure from the CCP
Manyan Ng, the director of the International Association of Human Rights (IFGM), the largest human rights organisation in Germany, pointed out that “because of the control of the media by the CCP authorities, including incidents such as SARS, the persecution of Falun Gong and the recent “poisonous milk powder”, all these have developed to such a serious extent that should not have to. I sincerely hope that the EU can stand up to the pressure from the CCP this time.”
The EU should investigate this matter
At the conference, Ms. Zhou, the representative from NTDTV in Europe, said, “Today, I am feeling sad because normally I report activities of the parliament when I sit among you. In fact, our TV station is the only one that has the Chinese people know what is happening in the European Parliament.”
Ms. Zhou urged the EU and the French government to take actions against Eutelsat and have it to resume broadcasting NTDTV into China “because it is not only to report something about the European Parliament, but more important is that NTDTV has been reporting serious issues related to China. For example, the recent poisonous milk powder incident. In addition, NTDTV learned that a week before the Olympic Games, the former Chinese Director General in Food Production Supervision Department of State General Administration for Quality Inspection had committed suicide, closely related to the food quality scandal.
Ms. Zhou requested Eutelsat to give a detailed technical explanation about breaking the NTDTV signal. She also thought that the EU should investigate the reason behind this matter. If Eutelsat has received some benefits from the EU economically, the money should not have gone into the hands of those who have suppressed the freedom in news and have put Chinese people’s lives in Danger.
This matter has continued to ferment in the European Parliament. Recently, five MPs (two of them attended this press conference) has co-sponsored a motion in the European Parliament calling on EU member states to be concerned about this and take actions in urging Eutelsat to resume NTDTV's signal.
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