Spain will prohibit transmission of Hispan TV and Press TV

Saffari says that the measure is "a flagrant assault on freedom of expression."

Iran's ambassador in Madrid, Morteza Saffari, rejected the attitude of the Spanish authorities to prohibit the transmission of the channels Hispan TV and Iranian Press TV.  He also warned about avoiding the  worsening of bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Iranian government presented a formal complaint against Spain before the Court of the European Union, following the suspension of the transmission of channels Hispan TV and Iranian Press TV within Spanish territory.

During a press conference yesterday, the Iranian ambassador in Madrid, Morteza Saffari, announced the decision and said that the action taken by the Spanish government is "illegal, without legal basis and a flagrant assault on freedom of expression."

Saffari said that European countries claim the defense of freedom of expression and human rights, but concede that "two Iranian TV channels transmit the standpoint of Tehran" on world events.

He highlighted the existence of evidence that documents the role of Zionist elements after the suspension of Hispan TV and Press TV in Spain, and urged the authorities of the European nation to avoid worsening of bilateral relations between London and Tehran.

Last December, by order of the Spanish satellite provider, the Hispasat satellite company issued a freeze on programs from both Iranian channels, and said the decision followed in the footsteps of the European company, Eutelsat.

The director of Hispasat, owned by  French-Israeli Eutelsat, is generally identified as responsible for the recent wave of attacks against Iranian media in Europe.

During 2012, several Iranian satellite channels were taken off the air in some European countries, including Britain, Germany, France and Spain.

AJC (American Jewish Committee) Executive Director, David Harris, has acknowledged that the committee had been engaged for months in discussions with the Spaniards over taking Iranian media off the air.

The AJC reveals much about its nature in the campaign to silence all opposition.  Something rotten, something to hide?

Should the EU not step in to condemn and reverse this action, it would make the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights look rather hypocritical, toothless and not worth the paper it is written on.  This actions of Spain are a clear violation.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights, part of the Lisbon treaty, notes freedom and pluralism of the media should be respected in a democratic societies and applies to EU institutions and the application of EU laws in member states.  Member state cross-border interactions require media freedom and pluralism to be guaranteed equally throughout.

Translated from the Spanish version by:

Lisa Karpova


Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey