Citizens Radio defies government warnings

HONG KONG — Citizens Radio, which has fought for a license for two years, began broadcasts again Thursday in Hong Kong, in defiance of government warnings that transmissions are illegal.

The station resumed transmissions with a talkshow conducted from a street market in the Mongkok district. Guests on the show included half a dozen legislators and local councilors. One of the guest speakers, politico Emily Lau, said she was knowingly committing an act of civil disobedience.

Earlier this week a court appeared to rule in favor of Citizens Radio’s plea for a license when it said that laws governing licensing were unconstitutional.

But the court backed off from enforcing its judgment, pending a government appeal over the constitutionality of the law.

Earlier in the day a High Court granted the government an injunction against the station preventing it from operating before the appeal.

During Thursday’s transmission a government officer handed the broadcasters a notice asking them to stop and warning them of the consequences if they did not.

According to the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, organizers and anyone participating in broadcasts by Citizens Radio risk contempt-of-court charges as well as charges of making illegal broadcasts.

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