European satellite provider Eutelsat has taken 19 Iranian television and radio broadcasters off the air as of Monday October 15th. Justice For Iran (JFI) welcomes Eutelsat’s decision, , of blocking 19 channels operated by Iranian state broadcasters, including Press TV. Earlier, on April 3rd 2012, Munich’s media regulatory office (BLM) announced that it was banning Press TV broadcasts from SES Astra and confirmed the decision on September 11th 2012.
In January 2012, Britain’s communications regulator Ofcom revoked Press TV’s license to broadcast in the UK after the channel refused to pay penalties resulting from a complaint filed by Iranian-Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari, for broadcasting his interview, which was filmed in prison under extreme duress and without Bahari’s consent.
Justice For Iran, as a human rights organisation, has repeatedly urged the European Council and countries to ban Press TV broadcasts on Satellite systems under their jurisdiction because of their practice of airing forced and false confessions of Iranian political prisoners. JFI has also called on European governments to hold Press TV and its officials responsible for their human rights violations.
Eutelsat spokeswoman Vanessa O’Connor said that the channels operated by Iranian state broadcaster IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) have been blocked for viewers in Europe and elsewhere as of Monday morning, October 15th 2012. Although Eutelsat says this decision is due to EU sanctions against Iran adopted earlier this year, JFI emphasises that no matter the reason, blocking Press TV and the other IRIB channels, including PressTV is a step toward respecting human rights. Press TV’s broadcasting, part of IRIB, was a media outlet of a long-standing effort of the Iranian government to portray journalists, human rights and political activists as criminals, terrorists or supporters of terrorist activities in an attempt to undermine their activities. PressTV violates European laws governing the media, such as those ensuring the principles of independence and neutrality, respect for privacy, respect for human dignity and the right to reply.
Also, in collaboration with the Ministry of Intelligence and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Press TV has violated the rights of detainees through obtaining televised confessions under torture and duress and then broadcasting them. Both the Ministry of Intelligence and the IRGC have been sanctioned by the U.S. government for severely violating the rights of Iranian citizens. Furthermore, many of the commanders and central officers of the two organisations are among the individuals sanctioned by the European Union and banned from entering EU member-states and have their assets blocked in those states. The head of IRIB, Ezzatollah Zarghami is also sanctioned by the EU as of 23March 2012 because of broadcasting show trials and forced confessions of the political prisoners.
As the propaganda machine of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Press TV has repeatedly violated professional standards of independence and neutrality of the media. It has further deprived individuals and organisations subject to Press TV’s libel and false accusations from their right to reply, a fundamental right according to international regulations governing the media. Moreover, many of the individuals falsely accused by Press TV are either in prison and unable to respond or speak in their own defence, or are forced into silence due to security concerns. The close ties and collaboration between Press TV and the security and intelligence apparatus in Iran has caused fear among individuals residing outside of Iran whose professional or personal dignity has been targeted by Press TV’s programs.
Since Press TV continues to broadcast globally on more than 10 satellites, Justice For Iran will continue its campaign to make Press TV and its officials, including the Channel’s CEO Mohammad Sarafraz and its newsroom director Hamid Reza Emadi, accountable for their human rights violations and urges to sanction PressTV as a legal identity and the two responsibles because of the grave human rights violations.
For further details, please read Justice For Iran’s reports on PressTV:
“Cut! Take PressTV off the Air”
Rights body slams Iran Press TV for airing “forced confessions”
JFI Urges EU to Sanction the Responsible Officials for Grave Violation of the Rights of the Arab Minority
Arab Prisoners Expose Press TV’s Role in Extracting Confessions Under Torture
16 Oct 2012