International broadcasters call for action over jamming
08.10 Europe/London, December 9, 2011 By Robert Briel

A number of international broadcasters have condemned the deliberate interference of satellite broadcasting signals to silence independent media and prevent free access to information.

Meeting in London, the directors general of these broadcasters (Voice of America, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF) and Radio Netherlands Worldwide) issued a statement, noting, “We have seen an escalation this year in the number of pressure tactics that have been used on the media being accessed by audiences in Iran and other countries.”

In particular, they noted an increase in deliberate interference – known as “jamming” – of international satellite programming in Persian. Satellite operators indicate interference originates from Iran. According to the five international broadcasters it is intended to prevent Iranian audiences from seeing foreign broadcasts the Iranian government finds objectionable.

“We call upon the regulatory authorities to take action against those who deliberately cause interference to satellite signals on the grounds that this is contrary to international conventions for the use of satellites. We specifically ask national telecommunications authorities to take up the issue at an upcoming meeting of the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva.

“We also call upon satellite operators and service providers to recognise the importance of the role they play in ensuring the free flow of information.”