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24 September 2014
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BBC World Service Uzbek language broadcasts jammed by Chinese Government

The BBC World Service's short wave broadcasts in the Uzbek language are being jammed by the Chinese Government, it was revealed today (Tuesday, 15 October).

The BBC confirmed jamming on three separate short wave frequencies when it followed up unconfirmed reports with field tests in Uzbekistan over the last few weeks.

The jamming, which began on 1 September, consists of a strong radio signal from a Chinese speech station on the three frequencies used by the BBC during broadcasts.

Although eastern band FM and medium wave broadcasts are available around the Uzbek capital Tashkent, the action by the Chinese government means that listeners in other parts of Uzbekistan are unable to hear BBC World Service broadcasts.

Around 500,000 Uzbeks listen every week to the BBC. Uzbek is also spoken by 1.5 million people in Northern Afghanistan and the BBC's Uzbek service is an important part of the BBC's response to events following last year's September 11 attacks.

The BBC has been broadcasting in Uzbek since 1994 and currently broadcasts six hours a week.

BBC World Service Director Mark Byford says: "We are concerned at the actions of the Chinese authorities who are preventing citizens of another country from hearing Uzbek broadcasts, especially at a time when the thirst for international news and information is increasing.
We are protesting to the Chinese authorities in the strongest possible terms."

The jamming coincides with reported demonstrations for a separate state by Uighurs, a Muslim minority group living in Xinjiang - the north-west Chinese province nearest to Uzbekistan.

The Uzbek language is easily understood by Uighurs. Human rights groups have voiced concern that China has used the US-led war on terror to crack down unfairly on the Uighurs.
The region's oil reserves are of great economic importance to China.

The BBC's Chinese service broadcasts have been regularly jammed since May 1989, at the time of the Tiananmen Square protests, by deliberately broadcasting a strong radio signal on the same frequencies.

The BBC's English and Chinese internet sites are currently blocked for users in China.

Notes to Editors

BBC World Service is funded through Grant-in-Aid from the Foreign Office. This year's grant is £201 million.

The BBC World Service broadcasts in 43 languages including English.

The other languages are: Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, Bengali, Bulgarian, Burmese, Caribbean-English, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, French, Greek, Hausa, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Kazakh, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mandarin, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese for Brazil, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovene, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese.

In the UK, World Service in English is available on 648 MW in south eastern England. In addition, overnight on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Ulster and via digital radio, digital satellite and the internet.

The English Network can be heard on the BBC's digital multiplex in the UK, or in Europe on the Astra satellite, channel 865. BBC World Service Extra - a new radio service broadcasting in the key languages of Afghanistan and the surrounding region is available on digital satellite channel 902.

Outside the UK, BBC World Service is available on short wave; on FM in more than 129 capital cities; and selected programmes are carried on almost 2,000 FM and MW radio stations around the world.

High quality reception of World Service programmes is available via satellite in Europe and North America.

The BBC World Service website - - contains extensive, interactive news services available in English, Arabic, Chinese Russian and Spanish, with audiostreaming available in 43 languages.

It also contains detailed information about World Service broadcasts, schedules and frequencies in all languages.



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