Sound of Hope Radio Network staff and supporters held a peaceful protest outside the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington on June 14.
The protest was organized to request that the Thai government free a man who is has been forbidden to leave Thailand and is facing possible jail time. His name is Chiang Yung-Shin, and his only crime was helping the Sound of Hope station set up a radio signal in Taiwan.
Protesters have stated that other factors are also at play. Sound of Hope Spokesperson Frank Lee said they are making an additional request of the government.
“Please free Mr. Chiang Yung-Shin. And the second request is that the Thai government should not follow the Chinese Communist Party to suppress the freedom of the press,” he said.
He and the other protesters said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been actively trying to jam their signal, as a means to prevent the station’s programming from reaching their global audience. Lee also asserted that the CCP has been pressuring the governments of neighboring countries to arrest their journalists and other staff.
“As far as we know, the Thai authorities are under tremendous pressure from the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
The independent radio network has been broadcasting uncensored news to people in China for the past 15 years. The station transmits into China via shortwave radio frequencies that originate from neighboring countries.
Thai police dismantled Sound of Hope’s radio station in the City of Chiang Mai last August.
Sound of Hope listener and Chinese Mainlander Ding Xiaoxia told NTD that Sound of Hope exposes the CCP’s human rights violations.
“Sound of Hope is a window into the evil persecution, which exposes it. The Chinese Communist Party is very afraid of it,” he said.
According to “America Daily,” a Pennsylvania-based newspaper, the Chinese communist regime jammed other networks’ frequencies, but couldn’t do so for Sound of Hope. The regime then began applying pressure on the governments of neighboring countries to arrest Sound of Hope staff.
Two staff members were later jailed for 3 years in Vietnam, and a station manager in Indonesia was arrested as their operations were forcibly closed in 2011.
Sound of Hope Radio Network Employee Pat Smile also commented on the wrongful charges against Chiang Yung-Shin, as well as his inability to lawfully leave the country.
“He is not a criminal,” Smile said. “He is doing a good deed to help his fellow Chinese people. He is a Taiwanese citizen but now he’s in Thailand. And it’s all coming out that it was pressured by the CCP.”
During the protest in Washington, the Sound of Hope representative presented a letter of appeal from the network’s president, Allen Zeng, to the Thai Embassy. The representative requested that the Embassy pass the letter on to the government. So far, two U.S. Congressmen have also sent letters—one to the Thai Embassy, and one to the United States State Department—expressing their concerns.
Chiang will appear in court again on June 19 and 20.