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Satellite jamming condemned

The Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) has condemned intentional jamming of broadcasts carried on Arabsat and Eutelsat satellites.

Programming from a range of regional and international broadcasters has been affected by jamming that technical research shows emanates from the territory of Ethiopia.

The jamming has affected AIB Members including the BBC, Deutsche Welle, France 24 and Voice of America, as well as a number of other channels from the Middle East and North America.

The deliberate harmful interference targeting Arabsat and Eutelsat and the broadcast channels these two satellite operators carry for viewers and listeners across the Middle East and Africa contravenes international agreements that govern the operation of satellite systems and the use of the radio frequency spectrum.

“AIB and its members call for the immediate and complete cessation of this unwarranted interference by Ethiopia in the region’s telecommunications and broadcasting services. Significant, harmful interference has been directed at satellites in the Arabsat and Eutelsat fleets, and consequently to the broadcasts of a wide range of TV and radio channels,” said Simon Spanswick, chief executive of the Association for International Broadcasting. “This deliberate interference is illegal and contravenes international law. It deprives viewers and listeners across the region of access to news, information and entertainment. The interference also adversely impacts the important operational role that Arabsat and Eutelsat have in distributing content. It also harms their businesses. Extensive technical research has confirmed that the jamming originates within the territory of Ethiopia. AIB reminds the authorities in Ethiopia that causing interference is in direct contravention to the agreements that the Ethiopian government is party to at the International Telecommunication Union.

AIB is lodging protests with the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry and its Missions in London, Berlin, Paris, Riyadh and Washington DC.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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