Ecuadorean government shuts down public radio station for reporting on protests

Featured Ecuadorean government shuts down public radio station for reporting on protests

Quito, October 9 (RHC)-- Ecuadorean public radio Pichincha Universal says its signal has been pulled off the air and equipment confiscated, as police raided the radio station Tuesday afternoon amid extensive coverage of the anti-government protests.

“We reject this intervention.  We’ve just been informing the public.  We strongly reject this attitude,” Washington Yepez, one of the radio’s main presenter said, urging “people to come to defend their right for information.”

The police confiscated the radio’s transmitting equipment with a warrant, as the state’s prosecutors claim the radio broke the law by “inciting unrest,” thus violating Article 348 of the Criminal Code.

Since Monday night, the FM radio frequency has presented multiple disruptions in different parts of the city.  Listeners reported interference on the station's frequency of the 95.3 FM.

The radio station belongs to the provincial government of Pichincha and its prefecture.  On March 24 midterm elections, Paola Pabon, of former President Rafael Correa’s political party, won the prefecture, a coincidence that has brought up questions of the motivations behind the signal disruption.

Back on April 4, the state-owned TV station Gamavision cut the power supply to the transmission equipment of the radio, apparently due to its broadcasts of the truth.

Edited by Ed Newman

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