10.22.2012 11:01 AM
EBU Condemns Middle Eastern Satellite Jamming
Calls interruptions “an attack on media freedom”
GENEVA–Disruptions in satellite signals in the Middle East and Europe have been traced back to Syria and Iran, according to European satellite operator Eutelsat. The interference has affected radio and TV broadcasters the BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America.
The European Broadcasters Union responded to the information by condemning these actions. “Access to information is a universal human right and an essential component for democracy. We deplore this attack on media freedom,” EBU Director Ingrid Deltenre said.
There has been speculation that the jamming is a reaction to changes in the regulations put forth by the International Telecommunications Union to comply with the European Union’s increasingly tough sanctions on Iran. The ITU altered its regulations at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) in Geneva after receiving complaints of repeated and deliberate interference in the reception of TV in Persian and Arabic, and because of these changes, Eutelsat no longer carries 19 radio and television channels broadcast by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
However, the ITU says that these recent incidents are not the first time that there have been allegations of Iran jamming communications from the outside world, despite the fact that the practice is banned by the ITU.
The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors also says that Eutelsat signals have been interrupted by interference from Syria, according to an article on Radio World’s website.