BBC condemns Ethiopian satellite jamming
| 01 June 2014
Liliane 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.
The jamming of satellite signals in the region was first detected on 30 May 2013 when Arabsat complained to have suffered intentional signal interference from international jammers based in Ethiopia even though there were no Ethiopian or Eritrean channels among the direct-to-home (DTH) satellite bouquets broadcast via its craft. The interference of Arabsat programmes is said to have been intensive and affecting services on all three of its satellites.
Now the BBC has weighted in to the affair with Landor joining directors from Deutsche Welle, France 24, and the US Broadcasting Board of Directors which oversees the Voice of America, in condemning what they describe as a 'flagrant violation' of established international procedures on operating satellite equipment. Specifically the BBC noted that that the interference was 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 calls upon the Ethiopian authorities to end this interference," Landor said. "They are disrupting international news broadcasts for no apparent reason. This is a deliberate act of vandalism that tarnishes their reputation."