A satellite company based in Hong Kong has claimed that Falun Gong, outlawed on the Chinese mainland, hijacked its satellite and disrupted normal service over the weekend.
The accusation was made on Sunday by Asia satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd (AsiaSat), a company listed in both Hong Kong and the US.
A statement released by AsiaSat said that Falun Gong promotional broadcasts started to make use of the K7V transponder aboard their 3S satellite at around 8:06 PM on Saturday. "We were forced to shut it down at 20:19 on November 20 until 00:35 on November 21."
Beijing and Tianjin Municipal TV broadcasts, which had chartered the transponder, were interrupted, the statement said, and the act "brought great harm to our company's commercial benefit and reputation".
"We strongly condemn this deliberate interference and reserve the right to bring the perpetrators to justice," said the company.
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2004)