Support our colleagues in Asturias

As Radio Kras, in Asturies, Spain, was preparing to celebrate 30 year on-air, they were notified of disciplinary proceedings by the regional government. Below you can find Radio Kras statement and the support letter.

Support Letter

Manifesto supporting the Asturian free radios

Associations, organizations or groups who want to join the Manifesto can do so by copying and pasting the text below and sending an email to kraspodcast@gmail.com

MANIFESTO OF SUPPORT FOR RADIO FREE ASTURIANAS

 

We ____ (name of the entity or group) ____________________________ want to show our strongest rejection towards the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Ministry of Economy and Employment of the Asturian government against Radio Kras of Gijon and Radio QK of Oviedo, historical free and community radios in Asturias, and that can result on fines of up to 200,000 euros and the radio stations closure.

We condemn the decision of the Office of the Provincial Inspection of Telecommunications in Asturias (under the Ministry of Industry), which conducted inspections against the Asturian community radio while the Ministry itself infringes the Audiovisual Communication Act of 2010, which established a period of twelve months for the regulatory development of the Act which would have allowed access to licenses to free and community radio stations.

We consider these proceedings a measure of harassment and criminalization against Asturian free and community radio as the radio stations situation of legal irregularity is responsibility of the state and regional administrations as they haven’t fulfilled the regulatory requirements established by the 2010 Act.

Asturias has a strong tradition of so-called free and community radio stations that began to emerge in the early ’80s. Despite the crucial work of these citizen initiatives in the field of promotion of Asturian culture, citizen participation, pluralism and the right to freedom of expression, the different administrations have avoided the legal recognition of these stations, and this has left them in a precarious and helpless situation.

Instead of acting against community radio, the authorities should implement Article 4.1 of Law 7/2010, of March 31, General Audiovisual Communication which indicates “Everyone has the right to access audiovisual communication which should be provided through a plurality of media -public, commercial and community- reflecting the ideological, cultural, political and social pluralism”.

Therefore we EXPRESS

Our support and solidarity with the Asturian free and community radio

And DEMAND

The immediate cessation of the disciplinary proceedings and any other action against Asturian free and community radio

Recognition of these stations and the access to frequencies s in compliance with Article 32.2 of Law 7/2010

Signed: ____________________________________________________________

Background information

Radio Kras statement in response to the threat of fine and closure of the station

 

Xixon, 8th July 2015. On Tuesday, July 7, Radio Kras received notification of the Directorate General for Economy and Innovation of the Ministry of Economy and Employment of the Asturian Government charges against the radio station, which included a possible sanction of €100,001-€200,000 and the closure of the station which is unlicensed for broadcasting on FM.

In response, the Asturian Radio Collective, responsible for Radio Kras, states the following:

Kras Radio has been broadcasting for 30 years giving voice to social groups and providing a space where citizens exercise the right to communicate and freedom of expression, as well as facilitating the dissemination of alternative music groups of not interest to commercial radios. We don’t run advertisement and financial support is mainly due to the contributions of those involved in the station.

In 2010 the Audiovisual Communication Law recognized the existence of Community Media in Article 32 “… not-for-profit Community audiovisual communication services to address the social, cultural and communication needs of specific community and social groups, and to promote the citizen participation and structuring of associations … “. In the same Act it is stated that the authorities should ensure the creation of the regulatory framewok within 12 that would allow access to licenses to free and community radio stations. In addition the Act stated that licensing should be provided to those stations existing before 2009. However, five years later, this remains unfulfilled because the Spanish government has not yet open a call for frequency concession or has established a set of procedures to access them, despite the insistence of the Ombudsman and the recommendations of the Council of State.

Based on this law, in 2012 we ask the Ministry of Economy and Employment that Radio Kras be recognized as not-for-profit audiovisual communication Community service and as such to be granted a license. So far we have received no response to that request.

Radio Kras cannot ignore this action of the Autonomous government, which was preceded by an inspection report of the Provincial Inspection of Telecommunications in Asturias (under the Ministry of Industry) which, for 3 years, has been harassing the community radio movement in the region. Its actions caused the closure Sele Radio and Radio Nava and it is now seeking the same to happen to Radio Kras or QK Radio of Oviedo and other Asturian community broadcasters. This situation occurs only in Asturias as in the rest of the state, community radio are still broadcasting pending regulatory development of the Law on Audiovisual Communication.

 

For all that:

We demand the suspension or filing of the proceedings against Radio Kras, due to the situation of legal defencelessness in which we find ourselves.

We started a campaign to support Asturian free and community radio including groups, organizations and individuals that will defend the Right to Communication, Information and Freedom of Expression.

We reiterate that we are granted the Authorization certificate as an not-for-profit audiovisual media service, allowing us to continue broadcasting without being exposed to the arbitrariness of any body.

We continue celebrating activities around the 30th anniversary of Radio Kras.