Eutelsat SA keeps silence over Iranian channels ban in Europe
rench-based satellite provider Eutelsat SA has maintained its code of silence regarding its decision to ban Iranian satellite channels from European airwaves.Eutelsat continues to refuse interview requests from Press TV to make comments about its decision to disconnect all Iranian media from its satellite television services. The company’s only press release stated that the decision was based on reinforced European Union Council sanctions and a confirmation by France’s broadcasting authority, but an EU spokesperson told Press TV that the sanctions contain no such orders.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for us that a company can interrupt a nation’s media in this way. Eutelsat’s decision disregards the importance of the liberty of expression and the free circulation of information,” National Union of Journalists chief Dominique Pradalie told Press TV. The French Foreign Ministry also refused to talk with Press TV, saying they played no role in Eutelsat’s decision. However, Eutelsat’s president, Michel De Rosen, appears to be playing a central role as his silence over the issue strengthens such speculation. Or perhaps de Rosen is acting in accordance with France's foreign policy, which became militantly anti-Iranian under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and which has continued with President Francois Hollande. However, nobody can truly know until Eutelsat explains itself.
“It is not good that a broadcasting contract is broken without a transparent explanation. We don’t have Eutelsat’s reasons and we don’t know why this decision is made. Eutelsat must make its explanations public,” Pradalie said. The French media has almost totally made no comment about the decision, while Paris-based press watchdogs, including Reporters Without Borders, have yet to declare their position.
In a flagrant violation of freedom of speech, French-based satellite provider Eutelsat SA ordered media services company Arqiva on October 15 to stop the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels.
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 the jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies. This is while the EU has denied claims by European satellite companies that it ordered the providers to take Iranian channels off the air saying that the companies have acted on their own accord.