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Iran Jams Satellite Signal


Satellite Dishes

The Iranian government has continued to increase its jamming of satellite television signals in Iran, thereby prohibiting access protected by international treaties

In the run-up to the one year anniversary of last June's disputed presidential election, the Iranian government has continued to increase its jamming of satellite television signals in Iran, thereby prohibiting access protected by international treaties.

According to complaints by Iranian citizens, the electronic interference was evident when the Voice of America's Persian News Network recently broadcast an HBO documentary on the life of Neda Agha Soltan, the young woman killed during peaceful protests following the election last year. Her death was captured on video, and she has become a symbol of the aspirations of the Iranian people for freedom and justice.

Earlier this year, the Iranian government also jammed VOA and other international broadcasts when Iran's leadership sought to suppress opposition protests on the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. At that time, VOA, Deutsche Welle, and the BBC issued a joint statement condemning the jamming, saying "it contravenes international agreements and is interfering with the free and open flow of international transmissions that are protected by international treaties."

In addition, the broadcasters noted, the Iranian authorities "are using the same satellite services to broadcast freely around the world including broadcasts in English and Arabic; at the same time they are denying their own people programs coming from the same satellites from the rest of the world."

Iranian authorities have attempted to keep information from the citizens of Iran through tactics such as jamming signals or closing newspapers or filtering the internet. They also continue their arrests and detentions of citizens with any association to the political opposition.

Despite the attempts of the leadership in Iran to deny outside information to its citizens, those in Iran who are trying to exercise their universal rights should know that the world is watching. As President Barack Obama has said, "Suppressing ideas does not succeed in making them go away. . . . History will be on the side of those who seek justice."

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