Amnesty International hacks abandoned Norwegian radio station to broadcast distress signal

Amnesty International has launched a campaign where it broadcasted a distress signal with a dramatic message.

Amnesty International has broadcast a distress signal with a dramatic message as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the plight of 34-year-old Teodora del Carmen Vasquez, who is currently serving a prison sentence of 30 years for suffering a stillbirth in El Salvador, where abortion is a crime under any circumstance.

Norway recently became the first country in the world to shut down their FM radio band, and Amnesty International discovered a loophole to broadcast the first distress signal appearing on the Norwegian FM-band since World War II.

El Salvador is one of a few countries in the world with a total ban on abortion. As a consequence, women who are seeking medical help for pregnancy-related complications can be convicted of breaking the law, and even miscarriages and stillbirths can be treated as crimes.

“We have tried to tell the world about the critical situation for women in El Salvador for years, but haven’t been able to achieve the necessary international pressure on Salvadoran authorities. That’s why we decided to try a whole new approach to get the world to listen, by launching the first distress signal broadcasted on a Norwegian FM-band since World War II,” said John Peder Egenaes, secretary general of Amnesty International in Norway.

“Teodora del Carmen Vasquez is imprisoned in El Salvador where she is serving a 30-year sentence for suffering a stillbirth. We demand that Salvadoran authorities change their total ban on abortion so that Salvadoran women are protected from this inhuman and degrading treatment,” said Egenaes.

You can listen to the signal here.

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Shawn Lim

Shawn Lim is a reporter at The Drum, covering industry news around the Asia Pacific region with a focus on Singapore and Southeast Asia. Based in Singapore, he has worked across photography, video and online, covering a range of subjects including current affairs and sports.

Before Game of Thrones, he was a huge Breaking Bad fan. He does CrossFit and yoga to stay healthy.

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