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The day after the announcement of the closures, the prime minister tried to assuage the ensuing outcry by insisting that "everything was done according to the rules." The refusal to renew the licences was justified by "financial problems" and programming characterised by "journalistic irresponsibility and the presence of pornographic content," he said. The authorities also invoked laws on the protection of minors and food hygiene to justify the closures.

As regards violating press freedom, the prime minister claimed this was a necessary evil in order to clean up Taiwanese television, which has about 100 cable channels.

Cable stations, which are licensed for six years, are subject to regular monitoring. Owned by the Eastern Multimedia Group, ETTV-S had always been able to hold on to its licences after reviews in the past. The station's executives intend to appeal. Its closure has put more than 300 employees out of work.


For further information, contact Vincent Brossel at RSF, 5, rue Geoffroy Marie, Paris 75009, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 70, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, e-mail: [email protected], Internet:

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