19 November 1997
Radio technician arrested and charged; radio station's programming seized
(RSF/IFEX) - On 13 November 1997, on orders of a prosecutor,
police arrested Stravros Statopoulos, a radio technician for
Athens International which broadcasts English-language
programming of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The
programming itself was also seized. Athens International
reportedly "violated the rules on radio frequencies."
The actions by police followed a complaint lodged by local
residents who were annoyed by signals from the station's
transmitter which were interfering with their televisions and
After spending the night at a police station, Statopoulos was
brought before the prosecutor and charged with not being in
possession of a broadcasting licence. Nevertheless, the directors
of Athens International, John Rigos and Paul Anastasi, claim that
they had provided the Ministry of Press and Communications with
all the necessary documents at the beginning of 1997.
The trial has been set for 28 November. Until that time, Athens
International will not be able to broadcast.
Send appeals to authorities:protesting the arrest of Stravros Statopoulos and the
confiscation of some of Athens International's programming
pointing out that the incident highlights the legislative gaps
in regard to the regulation of radio frequencies while the
government, in the past few weeks, has begun an overhaul of the
calling on them to do everything in their power so that Athens
International can resume broadcasting as soon as possible
Minister of Press and Communications
Fax: +301 36 20 249
Minister of Justice
Fax: +301 21 63 52
Please copy appeals to the source if possible.