China planning anti-jamming TV satellite to thwart Falun Gong

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Oct. 24, 2002

China is to launch a powerful anti-jamming television satellite to prevent a repetition of hijackings of the nation’s airwaves by the banned Falun Gong spiritual group.

The French made APSTAR VI satellite, to be launched at the end of 2004, will be fitted with special technology to prevent “malicious interruptions” to broadcasts.

The “technical reinforcement” was decided on after Falun Gong followers, based in Taiwan, hijacked a series of mainland television broadcasts, instead beaming propaganda by the group into people’s homes.

China complained angrily last month that its SINOSAT system had been regularly cut into over previous weeks by television signals coming from Taiwan.

The island’s Government swiftly pledged to crack down on the interruptions.

China outlawed Falun Gong as an “evil cult” in 1999 and followers of the group have subsequently faced often brutal repression, with an unknown number dying in custody.

After initially staging highly public protests against the ban, the group has recently tried to get its message across directly to people in China via a technically sophisticated propaganda blitz.

Followers have cut into cable television networks as well as satellite broadcasts, while also sending streams of voice messages and faxes to individual homes and businesses around the country.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday October 25, 2002.
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