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 Whistleblowers Need Protection


Open letter to Mr. Giuliano Berretta, CEO of Eutelsat Communications

September 9, 2008

Mr. Berretta,

We, the International Federation for Justice in China, our associates, and other organizations around the world do hereby make the following request of Eutelsat.

On June 16, 2008, the Paris-based satellite company Eutelsat Communications unlawfully and on false grounds stopped an uncensored TV station, New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV), from broadcasting into China on your W5 satellite. The Chinese Communist regime has long wanted to stop this station’s signals. Since it could not accomplish its goal directly, it did the next best thing. It refused to do business with your company, Eutelsat, even though you had contracted to carry NTDTV’s signal, until Eutelsat abrogated its contract.

As you already know, Reporters Without Borders recorded a conversation and released a transcript of that recording, in which a Chinese interlocutor, claiming to be a Director in China’s Central Propaganda Department, called a key official at Eutelsat's Beijing office. The official confirmed that the signals were turned off deliberately; that your company alleged that your transponder was broken when it really was not. “It was a political decision and a ‘very friendly message’ to the Chinese regime…” Not only was there no technical failure; there is even a back up system in place in case of failure. In addition, BBG left W5, making more room available.

After you made your decision, you reported to the Chinese Ambassador to Italy, Sun Yuxi. An investigator with special status phoned Sun Yuxi with regard to this issue. The conversation confirmed that the CCP played a major role in the incident. Ambassador Sun admitted, “After turning off the signal, they [Eutelsat] specifically asked someone to tell my Science and Technology Attaché and pass the message to me, saying that the Ambassador has mentioned several times to us about this issue, and we have handled it now. i.e. Well, from their work, they will no longer have Falun ... anything related to Falun Gong. … Since they have got rid of this, we also endorsed them, and told them never touch this again. They should cooperate with us, should do well in promoting China positively. They [meaning Eutelsat] also apologized again and again and assured us that they would never let such kind of thing happen in the future.”

In order to get more business, Eutelsat has proudly kowtowed to the Chinese regime’s enticement and shut off this independent TV station so that it can no longer advocate freedom and human rights in China; it can no longer provide the Chinese people with truthful and uncensored information. The issue is even more serious since Voice of America and Radio Free Asia’s have not been able to broadcast to China since the beginning of August.

Now that the information has been promulgated world-wide, perhaps you will want to weigh the value of your company’s image, not to mention the values that transcend money. We hope that Eutelsat will resume its contract with NTDTV and even renew it on October 31, 2008. As China’s repression becomes more widely known and more widely condemned, as our children ask us what we did about Communism’s violence, oppression, and inexorable ascendancy, we hope that Eutelsat will be remembered well. For the sake of so many suppressed Chinese people, we hope that they may access truth, rather than propaganda. We hope that Eutelsat will play its part, not kowtow to Communism, not be complicit in the suppression of truth, freedom, and human rights, and resume NTDTV’s signals immediately.


Signed by

International Federation for Justice in China International Association Agir pour les Droits de l’Homme France
Association La Maison Franco-chinoise France
Association La Voix de l’Espoir France
Association Wen Hui France
Conscience Foundation USA
Da Tang Culture Association Taiwan
Federation for a Democratic China Germany
Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners USA
Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition Japan
Taiwan Research Forum of Japan

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