Friday, May 20, 2005

Dear Senator Clinton

May 17, 2005

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Clinton

My name is Michael Mahonen and I am writing with a request that you provide support to New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), a non-profit Chinese language TV station based in New York. NTDTV’s satellite broadcast to Mainland China will be terminated this coming Saturday if breakthroughs are not made in negotiations with their satellite broadcaster who has been pressured by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to end their broadcast of NTDTV programming into China. This will cut off a source of outside information that is of vital importance to tens of millions of people in China. It is also a blatant violation of freedom expression, free commerce and free flow of information.

NTDTV is the only Chinese language station that is broadcast uncensored into China. They have been reporting truthfully about China regarding human rights, freedoms and other information deemed “sensitive” by the CCP, information that the people in China otherwise have no way of knowing due to the fact that all media in China is controlled by the state.

This is the only source of truthful information that the Chinese people have been able to receive on television in regards to the situation in their own country as well as around the world. This is why the Chinese government has been strongly pressuring and enticing Eutelsat, the satellite company that has been beaming NTDTV into China.

The CCP has been buying up satellite contracts internationally in order to effectively control the global satellite system and prevent NTDTV from securing a satellite beam into China. As reported by international media watchdog, “Reporters Without Borders: “CCTV (China state TV) is available in more than 30 satellite multichannel packages although six would suffice to reach 99 per cent of the world’s population. This massive presence enables the Chinese government to blackmail satellite operators.”
(Reporters Without Borders Article)

The information broadcast by NTDTV is vital to the Chinese people and has the capacity to help save lives through truthful information. Issues such as the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners have been so warped and falsely reported by the CCP propaganda, that citizens in China have been turning in their neighbors who practice Falun Gong, resulting in state sanctioned torture and murder of Falun Gong practitioners. This is very similar to the situation in Germany during the time of the Nazis.

This is not merely a matter of television broadcasts and contracts, or even politics. This is a matter of basic human rights. It is a matter of maintaining a lifeline of truthful information for people who otherwise live in a world where they are completely saturated with and controlled by state propaganda while they are prevented from knowing what is truly happening even within their own country. Propaganda exists in all countries to varying degrees, but the situation in China is extreme, severe and of great harm to the people of China. Over the past year of broadcasts via Eutelsat, NTDTV has been the only source of truth for millions of people in China. It is vital that this broadcast continue.

It was reported by the Wall Street Journal on April 13, 2005 that Eutelsat had actually intended from the outset to use NTDTV as a pawn to lure the CCP into buying off Eutelsat with lucrative contracts in exchange for Eutelsat dropping NTDTV. After starting the NTDTV satellite broadcast into China, Eutelsat did indeed sign what they announced as a “historic partnership agreement” with the same agency of the Chinese Government that initially instructed Eutelsat to remove NTDTV from their satellite beam. After signing this agreement with the Chinese government, Eutelsat later informed NTDTV that they would discontinue their contract with NTDTV. However, since that time, Eutelsat has agreed to negotiate with NTDTV due to great pressure put on Eutelsat by the international community to continue its broadcast of NTDTV. I have heard that the negotiations do not look promising due to Eutelsat’s requests to have NTDTV relinquish numerous standard broadcasting protections. The Eutelsat broadcast of NTDTV is scheduled to end this Saturday.
Wall Street Journal article

The Pentagon has extensive contracts with Eutelsat, being one of their largest clients. If Eutelsat shuts down the NTDTV broadcast into China and the United States government continues to supply Eutelsat with lucrative business, it would undermine the fundamental principles of Human Rights that the United States has struggled to uphold through the many twists, turns and challenging periods throughout its history.

Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas has written a letter to President Bush on this issue and will be requesting support from fellow Senators. I ask that you please sign your name to his letter to show your support.

Wishing you the best in all regards,

Michael Mahonen

Information regarding my knowledge of and concern for this situation:

I have written and directed a multi-award winning movie called “Sandstorm” that documents the brutal persecution of everyday people in China who engage in the mind/body practice of Falun Gong ( In my extensive research, I have learned much about the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) well oiled propaganda machine and their infamous information blockade, including the enormous "Fire Wall of China" which is a massive undertaking to block information on the internet and prevent Chinese people from seeing what the CCP does not want them to see, and this includes all information from outside China that shows objective perspectives of China and the CCP. The CCP has always exercised an absolute form of thought control in an attempt to remain in power at any cost. This in itself is an enormous crime against the people of China among the CCP’s numerous other ongoing, extensive and barbaric Human Rights violations against the Chinese people.


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