EBU says Syria suspected of jamming satellite broadcasts

GENEVA Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:24am EDT

GENEVA Oct 22 (Reuters) - Syria is suspected of jamming broadcasts by the BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said in a statement on Monday, citing satellite operator Eutelsat .

Eutelsat had already blamed Iran for deliberately jamming satellite signals on Oct. 4, but the EBU said Eutelat had reported "deliberate and intermittent interference" from regional ally Syria as well.

"Access to information is a universal human right and an essential component for democracy. We deplore this attack on media freedom," EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said.

The EBU said the jamming may be linked to Eutelsat's decision to stop carrying 19 channels operated by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, which were taken off air to comply with tougher European Union sanctions.

Deliberate interference with broadcast signals is banned by the International Telecommunication Union, a U.N. body which includes both Iran and Syria among its membership.