Satellite TV Jammed in Ethiopia

Ethiopian government act as political censors

23rd March

Updated: Censorial Static...

Voice of America radio jammed in Ethiopia

International shortwave radio monitors have confirmed that VOA broadcasts in the Amharic language are being jammed in Ethiopia.

The static began February 22 on all five VOA shortwave frequencies aimed at East Africa in the 25 and 31-meter shortwave bands.

The other foreign broadcast heard in Ethiopia, the German government's Deutsche Welle Amharic language program, also reports experiencing some interference, in the past few days.

VOA and Deutsche Welle were jammed around the time of the last parliament election in 2005, and again before the 2008 nationwide local elections. The next crucial parliament vote is scheduled for May 23.

Ethiopian officials have often described VOA's Amharic Service as the voice of the opposition , saying its broadcasts reveal an anti-government bias.

The Voice of America is a multi-media international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government. VOA broadcasts more than 1,500 hours of news and other programming every week in 49 languages.

Update: More Damning Jamming

23rd March 2010. Based on article from

The United States condemned Ethiopia's blocking of Voice of America broadcasts.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi earlier admitted to jamming the US government-funded VOA broadcasts in Amharic, saying he was prepared to censor the broadcasts because of the service's destabilizing propaganda.

Update: Website Blocked

1st April 2010. See  article from

The Ethiopian government has been accused of blocking the website of US broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) as a row over press intimidation continues to escalate in the Horn of Africa. Residents of the capital Addis Ababa have been unable to access the site since early on Sunday,


1st August

Update: Jammed Shut...

Ethiopian government accused of satellite TV jamming

The First independent Ethiopian satellite service (ESAT) said its transmissions in Ethiopia are intercepted for the third time since last May when the service was launched for the first time.

The Amsterdam-based Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) in a press release has held the Ethiopian government responsible for the interception.

For the past 24 hours, Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) broadcasts and transmissions in Ethiopia, the Middle East and Europe have been disrupted for the third time since it began service in May 2010.

ESAT said it has gathered evidences that show that the Ethiopian Government being illegally engaged with certain parties in the satellite business attempted to isolate and disrupt ESAT signals:

Our evidence on the source of the illegal signal interference points exclusively in the direction of the Ethiopian Government. Beginning on July 20, the satellite system carrying ESAT signals was bombarded by intense and sustained radio frequency interference disrupting a whole set of services provided by various public and private entities.'Along with ESAT, the satellite service of state-controlled Ethiopian Television was also knocked of the air.

When ESAT resumed its services after it was disrupted the second time, a request was made to the satellite provided to place ESAT on the same frequency as Ethiopian Television Service. This would ensure that any interference in ESAT signals would also affect Ethiopian Television transmissions. The Ethiopian Government by attempting to knock out ESAT ended up knocking itself off the air.'


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