Friday, March 25, 2011

Ethiopia steps up jamming of Voice of America

Ethiopia has detained dozens of political activists as part of what opposition groups say is a crackdown aimed at preventing a North African or Middle Eastern style popular uprising. Bekele Gerba, deputy leader of the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement, says recent Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts have been audible, except for loud noises that disrupt the signal when political issues are discussed.

“We have a lot of problems even to listen to the VOA,” he said. “The jamming. There are experts who are standing by and ready to jam the wave every time if there is any political issue. Immediately the jamming starts. It has become virtually impossible to listen to the VOA on the radio. It is only possible on the Arabsat satellite.”

VOA last year began broadcasts to Ethiopia by the Arabsat satellite after Prime Minister Meles authorized jamming its short wave radio signals. The website is also blocked to Ethiopian internet users. VOA is the only international radio service broadcasting in three main Ethiopian languages, Amharic, Afan Oromo and Tigrigna.
(R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)

Additional story at VOA News