BBC condems Ethiopian broadcast jamming

May 30, 2014 21.52 Europe/London By Robert Briel

bbc world newsLiliane Landor, acting Director of the BBC World Service Group, has called on the Ethiopian authorities to stop jamming BBC broadcasts in the Middle East and North Africa.

She joined directors from Deutsche Welle, France 24, and the US Broadcasting Board of Directors which oversees the Voice of America, in condemning the flagrant violation of the clearly established international procedures on operating satellite equipment.

Liliane Landor said: “The BBC calls upon the Ethiopian authorities to end this interference. They are disrupting international news broadcasts for no apparent reason. This is a deliberate act of vandalism that tarnishes their reputation.”

During the past week BBC television and radio broadcasts on the Arabsat satellites have been affected by intentional uplink interference. Many international television broadcasts, including those from France 24 and Deutsche Welle, have been badly affected.

The satellite operator Arabsat has reported that the interference has come from within Ethiopia. The interference is intensive and affects services on all three Arabsat satellites. Unlike previous instances of intentional interference, these events do not appear to be linked to any particular content or channel on these satellites.

The interference is contrary to the international regulations that govern the use of radio frequency transmissions and the operation of satellite systems, and inhibits the ability of individuals to freely access media according to Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

The BBC said that the affected channels are BBC Arabic TV, BBC World News TV and BBC World Service radio in both Arabic and English. The interference has affected areas from Morocco to Iran.