Deutsche Welle condemns satellite jamming from Ethiopia

May 30, 2014 14.45 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger

DW-SchüsselnGermany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) protests against the intentional jamming from Ethiopia currently affecting satellite reception of the TV programmes of DW and other international services in large parts of the Arab world.

Satellite operator Arabsat has identified Ethiopia as the source of the strong jamming signals on all its three satellites also affecting BBC, France 24 and Voice of America. Ethiopian authorities have not responded to the incident yet.

“This is a gross violation of the internationally recognised right of freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” said DW’s director general Peter Limbourg. “Deutsche Welle, BBC, France 24 and Voice of America strongly condemn this action against the free flow of impartial information. We urge the Ethiopian authorities to immediately cease the jamming.”

While DW’s shortwave transmissions have been repeatedly target of jamming from Ethiopia, the current incident appears not to be aimed at specific broadcasters or programmes. According to DW, the jamming of satellite signals constitutes a violation of international agreements, but the practice is nevertheless on the rise. The most recent incidents occurred in 2011 and 2012 via Iran.

In the Arab world, DW is available through its TV channel DW Arabia. Selected radio programmes in Arabic are distributed via partner stations throughout the region.