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Private media may only broadcast "indefinite and uninterrupted" national programme as ordered by the government

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - At 14:08 on 30 September 2010, the government ordered all private radio and TV stations to link up with the signal of State owned TV station Ecuador TV, for an "indefinite and uninterrupted" national programme "until otherwise ordered".

All of the country's private radio and TV stations had to interrupt their news programs and live broadcasts as they reported on the situation caused by the police uprising. Since then, the state-owned station has been broadcasting interviews with public officials, politicians and authorities who back the government and denounce the attempted coup d'état.

The order was issued through an official notice originating from the Presidency in which radio and TV station managers were ordered to link up with the state's TV station, Ecuador TV, or risk being "sanctioned to the full extent of the law".

This measure was taken after a state of emergency was announced by the Presidency's Legal Secretary, Alexis Mera. However, the text does not include any measures to restrict information.

This situation is taking place in the context of violent protests initiated by National Police troops, as a way of showing their dissatisfaction with the possible reduction of their salaries once a Public Service bill is approved.

The media have opted to broadcast their coverage via their twitter and Facebook accounts.

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