x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Jazeera says Libya is jamming its signal

Qatar-based channel has expanded to additional satellites to combat jamming from what it says is a Libyan intelligence technical administration building south of Tripoli.

DOHA // Al Jazeera satellite television channel yesterday accused Libya's intelligence services of jamming its broadcasts across the Middle East and North Africa.

The Qatar-based network said it was "able to determine the source of the jamming of its broadcasts which began on February 2 and continued intermittently, but coincided with the channel's broadcasts on Libya".

Al Jazeera's signal was plagued by jamming, and Lebanon said on Sunday the electronic interference was coming from Libya.

In Beirut, the Lebanese telecommunications minister, Charbel Nahhas, said the jamming "originated from Libyan territory" and that the interference was also affecting Lebanese channels. "They [Libyans] see what these televisions carry about what is happening in their country and they jam the transmission points ... so Al Jazeera is affected and we are affected, too," Mr Nahhas said.

In a statement, Al Jazeera said the jamming "originated south of the capital of Tripoli from a Libyan intelligence technical administration building" headed by a general.

The building was "located in front of Salah al-Din hospital in an area of the same name, in Al Khadra al Hadhba district", it said.

The network said it reached its conclusion from "accurate studies carried out by specialized companies."

Al Jazeera channels have been subject to jamming for weeks, with an increase since Friday.

The pan-Arab television network has announced broadcasts on new frequencies from satellite operators Nilesat, Arabsat and Hot Bird from Europe to cope with the problem.

It also accused Libyan authorities of blocking its website throughout the country.

The station has covered events in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, contacting protesters and government backers by telephone and often airing footage of events sent via the internet.

Earlier this month, Egypt's Nilesat cut off Al Jazeera's signal for more than a week after authorities there ordered it to cease operations in Egypt.

* Dow Jones with additional reporting by Reuters