Citizens’ Radio was raided on Tuesday evening after it was suspected to be using an illegal radio transmitter for FM audio broadcasting.
Officers belonging to the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA), with the authority of a court warrant, raided the broadcaster’s premises at an industrial building in Wan Chai and confiscated a radio transmitter and antenna.
“Illegal radio broadcasting may cause harmful interference to other legitimate radio spectrum users. OFCA would continue to enforce the law to ensure proper management of radio spectrum,” a spokesman for the office said.
Citizens’ Radio is a non-profit radio station run by former pro-democracy legislator “The Bull” Tsang Kin-shing.
The office also stated that under the Telecommunications Ordinance, it was unlawful for anyone to establish or maintain any means of telecommunication without a licence, nor may anyone transmit messages through unlicensed radio transmitters. Offenders could be liable to fines and imprisonment, it warned.
Citizens’ Radio confirmed on Tuesday that around 20 OFCA staff and police officers were involved in the raid and that they had confiscated transmission equipment. They also made an open call for donations which would go towards the purchasing of replacement equipment.
“Please continue to support Citizens’ Radio in its fight to open up the airwaves. We do not fear oppression and our live FM broadcasts will be temporarily suspended tonight, [but] our web broadcasts will go on as usual. Keep an eye our website later on for programme replays,” the station said.
As the station does not have a sound broadcasting licence, its operation is technically illegal and is therefore frequently raided by the Office of Communications Authority as well as its preceding agencies. Tsang considers the existence of the station a form of civil disobedience.