BBG Condemns Signal Interference as Rights Threat

Washington, D.C. — The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) condemned the purposeful interference with broadcast transmissions to Iran as a threat to human rights and cited new evidence that jamming signals are now emanating from Syria.

“Recent interference with the Eutelsat satellite originates from near Damascus, Syria,” said André Mendes, Director of Technology, Services and Innovation of the International Broadcasting Bureau – the engineering arm of the BBG.  “The Persian broadcasts of the Voice of America are impacted as well as the BBC.”

“The notion that the locus of some jamming of our broadcasts into Iran is from Syria is something that people should know,” observed BBG Chairman Walter Isaacson.

In addition, interference with the Arabsat satellite has affected Alhurra TV, Radio Sawa, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda and several VOA services according to Mendes.

In a resolution passed at its January 13 meeting in Washington, the BBG called on delegates to the upcoming World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva and the satellite industry to “repudiate this illegal behavior.”

“The BBG strongly supports the United States Government’s position that interference with free media and the free flow of information and ideas constitutes a threat to human rights and freedom and to the principles stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the resolution said.

Last month, international broadcasters – VOA, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Deutsche Welle (DW), Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France (AEF) and Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) – also spoke out against the practice of signal interference.

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