Iran Reviews Effects of Jamming

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The International Human Rights Campaign (IHRC) in Iran a New York based nongovernmental organization reported yesterday that the Tehran government has formed a committee to investigate the effects of satellite jamming on public health.

According to the IHRC, the initiative is in response to a request from Iranian President Hassan Rohani. Dr. Seyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashem, Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education, announced the initiative in an interview with the official Iranian news agency IRNA on February 4.

The Iranian government has routinely jammed signals from RFE/RL's Radio Farda, the Voice of America and other international Persian-language broadcasters in an effort to control access to uncensored information inside Iran.

Satellite signals have also been jammed, most notably during the protests that followed Iran's disputed presidential elections in 2009.

International broadcasters have vigorously protested the jamming, which is prohibited under rules of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

RFE/RL's Azerbaijani language broadcasts via Turkish satellite to Azerbaijan suffered targeted interference that carried the hallmarks of jamming last year.

RFE/RL protested the interference, but to date the Azeri government has neither investigated nor confirmed reports.

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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