EU bans broadcast of Iranian TV channels on Hot Bird – Report

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European satellite provider Eutelsat SA says it has stopped the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels following an order by the European Commission, Press TV reports.

The company ordered media services company, Arqiva, to take the Iranian satellite channels off one of its Hot Bird frequencies on Monday.

In a separate statement emailed to Press TV, Arqiva said that the decision was made by the EU Council.

“We terminated the contracts because it was the order of the European Commission. We have to follow it,” Karen Badalov, area management of Eutelsat SA told Press TV.

Meanwhile, Head of Public Relations of Arqiva, Gary Follows, told Press TV that as a result of reinforced EU Council sanctions and repeated requests by France’s broadcasting authority for the permanent switch-off of Sahar 1, which is broadcast in the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) multiplex, the IRIB broadcasts through Eutelsat Hot Bird have been terminated.

The Iranian channels being taken off the air include Press TV, al-Alam, Jam-e-Jam 1 and 2, Sahar 1 and 2, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Quran TV, and the Arabic-language al-Kawthar.

The decision follows months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies.

Observers believe that the European Union does not respect freedom of speech, and spares no efforts to silence the voice of alternative media outlets.

Iran’s Arabic-language news channel, al-Alam, has been jammed on a daily basis while airing a program on Bahrain.

Technical experts say the jamming was carried out by British technicians.

Iranian news channels affected by the decision only aimed to break the West’s monopoly on news broadcast by reflecting the voice of the oppressed people to the world.

The illegal move by Eutelsat SA, therefore, is a step to mute all alternative news outlets representing the voice of the voiceless.