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Authorities shut down three community radio stations

(AMARC/IFEX) - Chile, 11 November 2010 - Less than three weeks after an IACHR hearing, during which the unauthorised status of community media in Chile was criticised, the government is failing to comply with the minimum standards for human rights and freedom of expression.

On 9 November 2010, the authorities shut down three community radio stations in the municipality of Paine - Radio Felicidad, Tentación and Radio 24. Tentación's and Radio 24's broadcasting equipment was seized by officers from the Investigative Police's Department on Crimes against Intellectual Property (PDI). The order was issued by attorney Pablo Cortés, from the local Attorney's Office in San Bernardino. The Subsecretary of Telecommunications (Subsecretaría de Telecomunicaciones, SUBTEL) launched a legal action against the three stations after a complaint was filed by a commercial radio station.

According to the stations, four PDI police officers arrived at Tentación's offices at around noon on 9 November. They seized the broadcasting equipment and detained those media workers who were at the station at the time. The PDI then proceeded to Radio 24's officers, which they entered by force. They seized the station's broadcasting equipment and some computers that belong to some local groups.

Five people were detained, including Marcelo Núñez, director of Tentación, and Miguel Silva, director of Radio 24.

Chilean legislation imposes certain discriminatory measures against community-based radio stations, AMARC noted. As such, once again the Chilean government was able to resort to the use of criminal law to persecute the members of unauthorised radio stations, AMARC noted.

Please note this is an abridged translation

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