The ban will affect programmes from the BBC and Voice of America (VOA), the communications minister said on Monday.

Local media organisations protested against the law as an attack on press freedom when it was passed last year.

Sofyan Djalil, the minister for communications, said that starting on 5 February television and radio stations will no longer be able to broadcast news programmes or breaking news directly from foreign stations.

Stations will have to first receive the broadcasts, edit them and then rebroadcast from a local relay station.

Blame culture

Djalil said the reason for the law was so that viewers could hold someone responsible if the broadcasts were offensive. throHe did not say what punishment violators of the law would face.

Shortwave programming by the BBC and VOA will be unaffected by the ban, as will broadcasts available over the internet. Live foreign news can still be broadcast by
satellite and cable television providers.

Several local TV and radio stations will probably be affected by the ban, but they were not immediately available for comment.

Affected foreign news organisations would include the BBC, VOA, and Deutsche Welle of Germany, among others.