International broadcasters – BBC, Deutsche Welle, and Voice Of America – today issued a strong message of condemnation following a new wave of deliberate electronic interference by the Iranian authorities which is affecting their broadcasts. BBC World News – the English language channel – was the latest channel to be jammed this week.
The new wave of jamming occurred as Iranians marked the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
The jamming is affecting services on the Hotbird satellite which covers audiences across Europe and the Middle East. These include BBC Persian television, the Voice Of America television channel in Persian, the Radio Farda service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Deutsche Welle’s television and radio services.
In a joint statement: Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC World Service, Erik Bettermann, Director of Deutsche Welle and Dan Austin, Director of Voice Of America said: «We condemn any jamming of these channels. It contravenes international agreements and is interfering with the free and open flow of international transmissions that are protected by international treaties.
«We call upon satellite operators and those who regulate them to take urgent action to put pressure on Iran to stop this activity. The Iranian authorities are using the same satellite services to broadcast freely around the world including broadcasts in English and Arabic; at the same time they are denying their own people programmes coming from the same satellites from the rest of the world.
«We will not stop broadcasting accurate and impartial news and current affairs into Iran. We will try every avenue to give our large audiences in Iran the television news services that they want.
«The jamming violates article 45 of the Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union that prohibits signal interference and we look to the international regulatory community to take a firmer stance on this deliberate act of jamming.
«Formal complaints have been submitted to the International Telecommunication Union, and other channels are being vigorously pursued to stop further jamming.»
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