The government of Turkmenistan has banned all satellite dishes, and is in the process of “demolishing” existing satellite installations. The intention is to fully block access to international TV and radio signals coming into the country via satellite.
In an official statement the government is demanding all dishes to be removed from apartments of private properties and has fully “prohibited” their use.
According to a report in The Times of Central Asia, the decision “is aimed at fully blocking access of the population of Turkmenistan to hundreds of independent international media outlets which are currently accessible in the country only through satellite dishes, including all leading international news channels in different languages. The main target of this campaign is Radio Azatlyq, the Turkmen-language service of Radio Liberty/Free Europe. It is the only independent source of information about Turkmenistan and the world in the Turkmen language and is widely listened to in the country.”
The press report states that almost every home in the nation has a dish, legally acquired over the past 20 years of satellite broadcasting.