The Broadcasting Board of Governors says it condemns the latest efforts of the Iranian Government and its associates to interfere and censor the free flow of objective news and information to the Iranian people. By monitoring satellite signals, BBG’s technical experts have determined that on 27 December, the Government of Iran engaged in the intentional jamming of satellite transmissions of the Voice of America’s (VOA) Persian News Network and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Radio Farda.
The BBG says “these efforts continue a pattern by the Iranian Government to block the broadcasting of objective and balanced news and information to the Iranian people, efforts which the Government of Iran has amplified since the June 12 Iranian elections. As Iranian citizens once again demonstrate against the current government, Iran has stepped up its measures to ensure that the Iranian people are deprived of the international reaction, as well as of accurate news about the protests taking place in various cities in Iran.”
The BBG says that these latest actions of the Iranian government in jamming commercial satellites appear calculated to intimidate the commercial satellite providers that are targets of the jamming into complicity with the actions of the Government of Iran and deprive the Iranian people access to free press and information.
“Private industry is an essential partner in freedom of the press. We urge our satellite partners to stand united in the face of these authoritarian acts or risk even greater human rights losses,” BBG Governor D Jeffrey Hirschberg said. “This type of intentional, harmful interference is not only a violation of the rules of the International Telecommunications Union to which the Government of Iran has subscribed, but is also a flagrant violation of the internationally recognized right of the people of Iran to receive news and information without government censorship.”
The BBGs calls to the Iranian Mission to the UN for comment have not been returned.
(Source: Broadcasting Board of Governors)
Andy Sennitt commments: We have already reported interference to the BBC’s satellite TV service to Iran. Duncan Hill in the UK reported yesterday that “It appears that BBC Persian has left the Hot Bird 6 satellite this afternoon, 28th December 2009, around 1500 UTC, replaced by an info card instructing viewers to turn to Telstar 12. The jamming has also thankfully stopped (which was affecting all unfortunate channels on the transponder, with R1 and Yes Italia also constantly suffering the same picture breakup and sound drop-outs, rendering them unwatchable).