Wednesday, August 20, 2008

China continues to jam international radio stations during Olympics

The Chinese authorities are continuing to jam the Chinese, Tibetan and Uyghur-language broadcast of several international radio stations although they promised to respect press freedom and the free flow of information during the Olympic Games, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
“An international media outcry forced the Chinese government to stop blocking access to websites, but there has been no similar gesture towards the international radio stations such as the BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet, which are being jammed within China,” says RSF.
RSF has confirmed from various sources in China that the jamming of Chinese-language broadcasts by the BBC, VOA, RFA and Sound of Hope (a station linked to the Falun Gong) and Tibetan and Uighur-language broadcasts by RFA and Voice of Tibet has not stopped before or during the Olympic Games. The jamming of Tibetan-language programmes has even been stepped up in recent months.
The staff of Voice of Tibet, a station based in Norway that broadcasts Tibetan and Chinese-language programmes to Tibet, report an increase in jamming of their three shortwave frequencies. The Chinese authorities use eight broadcasts from six different points within China (Beijing, Xian, Urumqi, Kashi, Hainan and Fuzhou) to make Voice of Tibet inaudible. Around 100 antennae have been installed in Tibet to jam international radio broadcasts.
“Our three frequencies are registered internationally for exclusive use for the broadcasting of our station’s programming,” Voice of Tibet director Oystein Alme said. “But no one is capable of defending us against the Chinese jamming and, what’s more, our website is still blocked.”
(Source: Reporters Without Borders/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)