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Taiwanese arrested in Thailand for alleged illegal broadcasting

2018/12/03 16:49:46

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) A Taiwanese businessman was arrested in Thailand late last month on charges of operating an underground radio station, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed Monday.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) told CNA that the man was arrested in Bankok on Nov. 22 for violation of the Radio and Television Broadcasting Act of Thailand.

Two days later, the man was released on bail of 100,000 baht (US$3,038) after a district court hearing in Chiang Mai, Lee said but declined to give any further details of the case, saying it was an ongoing investigation.

Lee said the Taiwanese businessman has hired an attorney and that Taiwan's representative office in Bangkok will offer any necessary assistance and make sure the suspect's legal rights are protected.

According to local and foreign media, which first reported the case, the suspect was identified as Chiang Yung-hsin (蔣永新).

In a Nov. 30 report, Radio Free Asia (RFA) in Washington said Chiang was arrested due to pressure from China because his underground radio station was affiliated with "The Sound of Hope," a radio station in San Francisco founded by the Falun Gong organization.

However, the manager of the "The Sound of Hope" told RFA that Chiang was not involved in illegal broadcasting.

Chiang had simply helped a Falun Gong volunteer rent a space in Chiang Mai for the storage of broadcasting equipment, the manager said in the RFA report.

Falun Gong is an exercise-based spiritual movement that became popular before being banned in China as a cult in 1999.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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