Deutsche Welle, BBC, France 24 and Voice of America are amongst numerous members of the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB) who are angered by Ethiopian authorities’ intentional jam of satellite programs, and claim the action is a violation of international agreements.
This also prevents audiences from being able to freely access the media and violates the internationally recognized freedom of speech and freedom of the press rights as per Article 19 of the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights. AIB is responding by lodging protests with the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry and its Missions in London, Berlin, Paris, Riyadh and Washington DC.
Simon Spanswick, Chief Executive of the AIB stated, "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.
"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. "
Liliane Landor, acting Director of the BBC World Service Group, added, “The BBC calls upon the Ethiopian authorities to end this interference. They are disrupting international news broadcasts for no apparent reason. This is a deliberate act of vandalism that tarnishes their reputation.”