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Tuesday, Sept 22
Australia urges Malaysia to restore satellite links
AFP

SYDNEY, Sept 22 (AFP) - Australia called on Malaysia Tuesday to restore satellite links to foreign television stations cut off to stop them reporting civil unrest following the arrest of deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Australian, British and New Zealand television stations have complained their broadcasts from the capital Kuala Lumpur were being jammed by Malaysian authorities.

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer today said it was unfortunate a satellite link shared between several television stations had been cut and he had called on Malaysia to restore communications.

Downer said he had spoken to Malaysian High Commissioner Dato Adnan Othman about the decision by Malaysia to cut off communications from Australian television stations to ask that the satellite feed be resumed.

''It's important for Malaysia's international standing that there is a continuation of free-flow of information in and out of Malaysia,'' he said.

''It's legitimate that given that we're a regional neighbour of Malaysia, Australia would want to know what's happening with one of their regional neighbours.''

ABC television reported its satellite feed from Kuala Lumpur had been interrupted and said Australian commercial stations had also been affected.

The BBC also said its pictures of riot police cracking down on protesters awaiting the arrival of ousted deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim at a courthouse had been interfered with, while footage of a visit by Queen Elizabeth had passed without difficulty.

New Zealand's TVNZ said it would demand answers from Malaysian authorities after its television pictures of Kuala Lumpur riots were also blocked.