EBU Joins Condemnation of Jamming

The European Broadcasting Union has joined the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and other international broadcasters in condemning the deliberate jamming of satellite signals across Europe and the Middle East.

“Access to information is a universal human right and an essential component for democracy. We deplore this attack on media freedom,” EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said in a release issued Oct. 22.

The jamming has hit satellites operated by Eutelsat, a European satellite operator, which confirmed that the disruptive signals originate from Syria.

On Oct. 19, the Directors General of five major public-service international broadcasters in Europe and the United States, known as the DG5, issued a release condemning the jamming, which has disrupted broadcasts from Russia through Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.

The BBG, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and other U.S.-funded international broadcasters, was joined by other members of the DG5 – Audiovisuel Extérieur de la France – France 24, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Germany’s Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands Worldwide – in calling for end to the deliberate electronic interference

“We strongly condemn this deliberate interference with news and information programs,” said Richard M. Lobo, Director of the BBG’s International Broadcasting Bureau. “While it may be targeted to prevent the free flow of information in countries with restrictive media environments, the widespread and indiscriminate nature of this jamming denies millions of people access to information. The outrageous jamming of our satellite signals and those of other broadcasters is a violation of international agreements,”  Lobo noted.

“Deliberate interference such as the jamming of transmissions is a blatant violation of international regulations concerning the use of satellites and we strongly condemn any practice designed to disrupt audiences’ free access to news and information,” the BBC said in a statement issued Oct. 18.

Deutsche Welle Director General Erik Bettermann accused Iran of repeated efforts to jam satellite broadcasts from reaching an Iranian audience.