Director General Erik Bettermann objects to “Teheran’s repeated interference” and the “limitation of freedom of speech and freedom of the press”
As of Wednesday, February 10, 2010, the broadcast of Deutsche Welle’s television program has been jammed once again. According to the information received by Germany’s international broadcaster, the satellite interference – like that in December 2009 – is most likely coming from Iran.
In a letter to the Iranian Embassy in Germany, Director General Erik Bettermann insistently objected to the “direct interference of the reception of international information offerings”. He went on to say that the repeated limitation of freedom of opinion and freedom of speech by the Iranian administration is “no longer acceptable”. The Director General pointed out that not only has the television broadcast been jammed, but that Deutsche Welle radio and especially Internet content has been censored by Iran.
Since Wednesday afternoon, DW-TV’s satellite broadcast has been selectively jammed. The signal, which is broadcast using Hotbird 8, a satellite that provides programming for Europe and bordering regions – including Iran – was available for a few hours overnight, but was once again jammed on the morning of Thursday, February 11.
Hotbird 8 is also used as relay point for the Nilesat satellite and the provider of Deutsche Welle’s live stream service – both of which were also affected due to the interference. In this respect, there have been problems in receiving DW-TV programming for Europe (English and German) and for the Arab world (Arabic and English) as well as the Farsi radio service. The DW-TV ARABIA broadcast has in the meantime been re-established using a Hotbird transponder.
Deutsche Welle had already experienced interference on December 7-8, 2009 on its Hotbird transponder. According to the information provided by Eutelsat, the source of the interference could be clearly localized and identified: the jamming signal came from Iran.
Bettermann pointed out the Deutsche Welle’s Farsi service via shortwave in and around Teheran has been a problem for quite some time. However, radio programming was still available on the website www.dw-world.de/persian and although this was regularly blocked, users in Iran knew of technological ways to access it.