News / Middle East

Iranian Rights Activists Criticize Tehran's Satellite Jamming

An Iranian man walks past a satellite dish on a rooftop in northern Tehran, January 15, 2011.
An Iranian man walks past a satellite dish on a rooftop in northern Tehran, January 15, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

Two prominent Iranian human rights activists are calling on the European Union and United States to take action against European satellite companies who host Iranian state programming.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and human-rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi and the director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran Hadi Ghaemi made the comments on Friday in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal Europe.

Ebadi and Ghaemi criticize satellite companies, Eutelsat and Arqiva, for broadcasting the "libelous programs" of the Iranian government, while allowing Tehran to jam U.S. and European broadcasting into Iran via the same companies' satellites.

Ghaemi spoke to VOA's Persian News Network on Friday, saying Iran uses its state-run media outlets to defame anyone who speaks out against the state.

"The Iranian radio and television actually work very closely with the intelligence and security forces to the point that we have many testimonies of former detainees that have been interrogated by cameraman and so called staff of the IRIB," said Ghaemi.

The human rights activist said the European satellite companies are not doing anything to stop the Iranian government from jamming the signals of international broadcasters. He said they are instead hiding behind their contractual obligations with the Tehran.

"The companies are not necessarily breaking international law, but they are providing services to a government that is the leader in breaking international law," Ghaemi added.

The activists point out in their article that the companies have downgraded the Farsi language broadcasting of the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Voice of America from a popular satellite to a less accessible one.

International broadcasters, VOA, BBC, Deutsche Welle and others, this week condemned the "deliberate interference" of their satellite signals in countries such as Iran.

Both Eutelsat and Arqiva did not return calls from VOA seeking comment. Eutelsat issued an appeal to international and European regulatory authorities last month to end the jamming of its satellites in Iran.

Meeting in London, the directors of the broadcasting organizations issued a statement, saying they have seen an "escalation" in pressure tactics from the Iranian government on media being accessed by audiences in Iran.

The broadcasting entities urged regulatory authorities to take action against those disrupting satellite signals on the ground. They asked this issue be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva.

Tehran views broadcasters Voice of America, BBC Persian and Deutsche Welle as illegally beaming their programs into the country.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid