Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Russia17 August 2007

BBC dropped from Russia’s FM waveband

Reporters Without Borders is dismayed by the Russian government’s decision, announced on 17 August, to eliminate the BBC from the FM waveband in Russia.

“There is absolutely no justification, either political or technical, for this censorship,” the press freedom organisation said. “Is Russia taking the lead from China or Zimbabwe, where the BBC is jammed? We hope a rapid solution will be found to this problem and that the BBC will soon be available on FM again.”

The broadcasting of the BBC’s Russian-language programming on FM ended on 17 August 2007. The British broadcaster’s last Russian partner, Bolshoye Radio, has had to terminate the relationship on the insistence of the Russian authorities. Finam, the group that owns the station, said it had been told by regulators that its contract did not allow it to retransmit programmes produced by other broadcasters.

BBC Global News director Richard Sambrook said: “We are extremely disappointed that listeners to Bolshoye Radio will be unable to listen to our impartial and independent news and information programming in the high quality audibility of FM.”

Sambrook called on the Russian authorities to respect the licensing accord with Bolshoye Radio, claiming that it allowed for a fifth of its programming to be foreign-produced. Meanwhile, Finam spokesman Igor Ermachenkov told the Associated Press: “It’s no secret that the BBC was established as a broadcaster of foreign propaganda.”

Relations between Russia and the United Kingdom have worsened considerably since the start of an investigation into the death of former KGB officer Alexandre Litvinenko from poisoning in London last November.

Moscow-based Radio Arsenal stopped retransmitting the BBC’s programming on FM at the end of 2006, while St. Petersburg-based Radio Leningrad followed suit in early 2007. The BBC’s Russian-language programmes can still be heard on short wave and on the Internet.

  In this country
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
1 May - Russia
Newspaper editor in coma after latest case of violence against journalists
10 April - Russia
Prosecutors say Novaya Gazeta journalist’s mysterious death was not murder
1er April - Russia
Local newspaper reporter dies two days after beating, human rights activist attacked outside Moscow home
16 March - Russia
Official issued Politkovskaya killer with fake passport

in the annual report
Russia - Annual Report 2008
Russia - Annual report 2007
Russia - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives