(PRAGUE, Czech Republic)
Following two weeks of large-scale protests and violent government crackdowns, Iranian authorities are trying to severely restrict the broadcasts of RFE/RL's Persian Service. Charles Recknagel reports:
Iran Jams Foreign Satellite News In Bid To Isolate Public
by Charles Recknagel
June 23, 2009
At RFE/RL's Radio Farda, the e-mails and phone calls come in continuously from Iran.
"It's really important that Radio Farda send reports every moment to us, because we do not have any access to news inside Iran," says one listener in Tehran. "Now the VOA and BBC have been jammed."
The listeners are helping the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Farda, which broadcasts 24 hours a day in Persian from Prague, to play an escalating cat-and-mouse game with Iranian government censors. The censors have been trying to black out both U.S. and British government-sponsored newscasts in Persian almost from the moment a week ago that people began protesting the July 12 presidential election results.
To black out a newscast, Iranian authorities beam their own signal up to the commercial satellite carrying the foreign program. The beam is on the same frequency as the newscast, only at much higher power. As a result, anyone in Iran trying to receive the newscast on their home satellite dish receives only the meaningless, substitute signal instead.... [full story