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Radio Era Baru forcibly closed by police

(RSF/IFEX) - 13 September 2011 - Reporters Without Borders condemns today's forcible closure of Radio Era Baru by police and frequency monitoring officials, despite last week's conviction of its manager on a charge of broadcasting without permission and disrupting neighbouring frequencies still being the subject of an appeal.

The closure of the station, located in Batam (in Riau province), was carried out by at least 30 officials including members of the military police and local police and representatives of the Communication and Information Ministry (Kominfo/Dirjen Postel), the Frequency Monitoring Agency (Balmon) and the Riau branch of the Indonesian Broadcasting Committee (KPID Kepri).

They arrived at Radio Era Baru at around 11 a.m., forced the padlock on the door of the transmission room and, despite the protests of the journalists present, removed transmission equipment, thereby preventing the station from continuing to broadcast.

Manager Gatot Machali explained to the police that last week's ruling by a Batam court was not final because an appeal has been filed, but they paid no attention.

RSF calls on the local authorities to respect the judicial proceedings still under way, and reiterates its appeal to the government to protect freedom of the media and information in Indonesia.

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