Ecuador: Critical radio and TV stations closed down

Critical TV and radio stations in Ecuador have been closed down, after authorities stormed the offices and seized equipment. Authorities of the Police and the Telecommunications Superintendence (SUPERTEL) in the North East of Ecuador closed TV station Lidervisión and Radio Líder. They arrived at Lidervisión headquarters with a warrant from SUPERTEL, and proceeded to search the office, breaking and confiscating broadcasting equipment. The radio and TV stations’ owner, Edison Chávez, says the stations were closed after falling behind on concession fees. But the he owner of the radio and TV frequencies has claimed that the closures were politically motivated.

Israeli troops force two Palestinian TV stations to close

Israeli troops have stormed two Palestinian TV stations, seizing equipment and forcing them to close. In the early hours of 29 February, members of Israel Defence Forces (IDF) raided Al-Wattan and Al-Quds Educational TV in the West Bank, territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. During the raid on Al-Wattan, four members of staff were held for several hours, whilst 21 computers and live broadcasting equipment were taken, along with administrative files and official documents. Broadcasting equipment was also seized from Al-Quds Educational TV. The IDF said the raids were carried out because the “pirate” TV stations were broadcasting without a licence.

Ukraine: TV journalists protest channel closures

Ukranian journalists have gathered in Kharkiv to protest the closure of local television channels. The protesters, who gathered at the Mayor’s office on Monday, taped their mouths closed and brought a symbolic coffin which they said was filled with reports that were not aired as a result of the closures.  The protesters believe that Kharkiv Mayor Hennady Kernes is responsible for giving the order leading to the station closures. Kernes rejected the charges and said the management at the Kharkiv TV channels who have criticized him should apologize for making “cynical” accusations.