(Clearwisdom.net) In June 2008, claiming "technical failure," Eutelsat cut off NTDTV's broadcast signal on its W5 satellite. Investigations revealed that Eutelsat bowed to CCP pressure for economic gains and intentionally shut down NTDTV ahead of the Olympics Games. Eutelsat's act has provoked a great deal of concern within the European Parliament and among many Europeans. Below are two letters from Sharon Bowles, MEP, and Caroline Lucas, MEP.

Sharon Bowles MEP
Member of the European Parliament

11 November 2008

Dear (Name omitted):

Thank you for your letter regarding Eutelsat's action in ceasing transmission of the Chinese-language station New Tang Dynasty TV.

The Chinese government has been very keen to cease transmission of uncensored media into China, as has been shown also with its censorship of Google. They will be undoubtedly pleased that Eutelsat has decided to cease transmission of New Tang Dynasty TV. Eutelsat's action, however, has provoked a great deal of concern within the European Parliament and among many Europeans, and I have received a number of letters and emails on this subject.

I was pleased when my Liberal colleague Marco Cappato, MEP, launched the written declaration you have mentioned to restore NTDTV broadcasts to China via Eutelsat. The declaration urges Eutelsat to restore the broadcasts immediately and to provide reason for their original suspension. It also calls upon EU Member State governments and the European Commission to take the necessary action required to restore the broadcasts. I signed this written declaration today.

The written declaration requires 393 MEP's signatures (ie, half of the Parliament) to be officially adopted, whereupon it will be opened for debate in the European Parliament and then forwarded by the President of the Parliament to the European Commission, the governments of the Members State, and the European Council. I am pleased that, with over two months to go, it is almost halfway there with 144 signatures. This suggests to me that there is a strong chance it will be successful before the closure date on 22 January 2009. I hope that if it is successful it will exert significant the moral pressure necessary to compel Eutelsat to restore NTDTV broadcasts.

As you have mentioned in your letter, nothing is more important and precious than the free press upon which our democratic society is based. Once again, thank you for writing to me on this important issue. If I can be of any further assistance on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Sharon Bowles MEP

Dr. Caroline Lucas
Member of the European Parliament

November 19, 2008

Dear (Name omitted),

Thank you for your letter about New Tang Dynasty Television.

NTDTV have been in touch with me directly about Eutelsat's blocking of their signal and of the impact this has had on the transmission of independent programmers to Chinese audiences. I have joined forces with a number of other MEPs to condemn what I agree is a pre-meditated, political move. We are also placing specific pressure on the French authorities whilst they hold the EU Presidency, as Eutelsat is a French company. I was pleased to learn that the European Commission is taking this up directly with the company and trust that the European Parliament will be fully briefed on the outcome.

I very much recognize that NTDTV has a critical role to play in China and that the EU has a responsibility to confront all efforts by the Chinese authorities to suppress freedom of speech or violate other human rights. Please be assured that I will remain in contact with NTDTV and work closely with them to overcome Eutelsat's unacceptable complicity in stifling freedom of speech. I am also supporting the written declaration as a way of keeping this issue high on the political agenda.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me. You can find out more about my work on my website.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Lucas - Green Party MEP for South East England.