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.

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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid