Taipei, A man set himself on fire Wednesday night in front of the CTiTV building, allegedly in protest against a government media watchdog’s decision not to renew the TV station’s CTi News license, according to reports.
A security guard at CTiTV doused the flames with a fire extinguisher and called an ambulance, which took the 70-year-old man, surnamed Sun (孫), to Tri-Service General Hospital, police said.
According to the hospital, Sun suffered second degree of burns to the face and upper body, but remained conscious.
Local media quoted witnesses as saying that Sun took a package to a security guard at the station in Taipei’s Neihu District and asked him to give it to a TV host.
“Why is the government closing down the TV station,” he later shouted.
He also complained about the firing of one of the TV hosts at the station and then set himself on fire at around 7 p.m., reports said.
According to police, Sun’s motive was allegedly to protest the impending closure of CTiTV’s CTi News channel, which will take place when its broadcast license expires on Dec. 11. But the police said they are still investigating the incident.
Last month, the National Communications Commission (NCC) decided not to renew the channel’s license, citing “repeated violations of regulations and failure of its internal discipline and control mechanisms.”
CTiTV said the decision was politically motivated, as CTi News is known for being critical of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration and is friendly toward China.
CTiTV has filed a request for an injunction to halt the closure of the news channel, and the Taipei High Administrative Court held a hearing on the matter on Nov. 30 but has not yet issued a decision on whether to grant CTiTV more time to file a formal administrative suit against the NCC.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel