On 14/04/2019, the Libyan political parties were intended to attend the Ghames Conference (including Hafter and his rivals). The conference was planned by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), and backed by the International Community and other bodies, such as: The African Union and the Arab League. The military formations in the Western Region of the country that belongs the NGA had also agreed to attend the conference. The conference was meant to create and establish a common ground and foundation on which a period of political, social and security, stability is achieved. Thereafter, leading to reaching a political solution that is satisfactory to all parties. In essences such will pave the way before the general elections in the country, producing an elected civil state. In addition to that – the conference, was designed as an enabler for Libyans to complete the long overdue constitution entitlement. But, Haftar had other plans!. He decided not to attend the Ghadmes Conference, rather and instead, by 04/04/2019 – he, ordered his army to attack and conquest Tripoli City. (incidentally his army consists 80% militias). His orders were clear “to seize power in Libya by capturing Tripoli City all in 72 hrs”. However, and until today 06/02/2020 he hasn’t succeeded in taking Tripoli as his assault met fierce resistance by the GNA army and allied support forces. In that military operation Haftar has ordered almost all of his military might and military equipment including the deployment of 5,000+ Mercenaries – namely, 1,400 from Russia, 2,700 Janjaweed of Sudan, 1,300 Chadian Mercenaries, as well as the deployment of hundreds of Military Experts and Officers from France, Egypt and the Emirates – all to no avail so far!. – Hafter’s advanced military hardware and equipment brought to the battle filed have been estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars. His forces have so-far sustained 7,000 dead between troops, militias and mercenaries. Almost, a similar number are counted as wounded and injured. Where, his war on Tripoli has so-far resulted in 160,000 as internally displaced people.
Hafter and the Satellite Channel Piracy:
Since December 2019 and until this date, Hafter has undergone a new strategy in ordering a wave of systematic interference, jamming and piracy over the satellite channel of “Libya Al-Ahrar Channel”, with the intent of paralysing and silencing the channel. Why; Libya Al-Ahrar Channel?. The channel has started to stand-up for Hafter by exposing his “SAVEOUR STRONGMAN METH” which he and his media have associated to his military assault in trying to conquer Tripoli City by creating fear and havoc in the minds of 2.5 million of the city’s inhabitants. The channel has so-far exposed such proclamations made by Hafter and his media machine where he deployed 7 TV and Satellite Channels in and outside Libya costing hudnerd of millions to silence his political opponents refuting his military rule notion and his fear and terror campaign. By applying Interference over Libya Al-Ahrar Channels, he has hoped to put an end to the channel.
So, What is channel interference or jamming…??
Interfering or Jamming, is defined – as a media term – as (any obstacle that prevents the ability to transmit or receive, or is anything that enters the communication chain that the sender does not intend to place, such as sounds or other factors and influences that distract attention such as bad pronunciation, or the presence of competing elements , And the interference leads to a change in the meaning of the message, or lack of proper understanding of it .., where the interference is caused by accidental stimuli, or by obstructing the transmission and reception process). By jamming Libya Al-Ahraar Channel, clearly indicates that Haftar is truly badly impacted and exposed – since, the channel’s efforts in exposing his military, media and fear plans had meant that he has indeed adopted the policy of interference over the channel as part of his military warfare tactics and strategy – hoping that he can coverup for his faded and failed military aggression over Tripoli. He has also coupled his Tripoli Military Invasion Operation with two more strategies: those are: (1) the strategy of fear (spreading fear and terror in people’s minds and hearts) and (2) the use of media propaganda (applying: misleading, false and inflated media news – whilst trying to portray his own character “as the saviour and the strong man” who is coming to rid-of his opponents – whom he calls as “traitors, terrorists and corrupt money launderers”. No matter what is you disapprove of his military project you are a terrorist. However, soon enough he proclaims a third strategy to add to his two previously mentioned strategies where he adopts to the TV Channels Piracy Strategy. In December 2019 Hafter heavily targets Libya Al-Ahrar Channel with interference treating the channel and its broadcasting contents as a military enemy as it had caused him a nightmare that must be silenced at all costs. The channel and its focused broadcasting content in form of the show called (The Noman Ben Otman) has been envisaged by Hafter as a strong demoralizer to his army and constantly decreasing his public support. Therefore, and from a military perspective Hafter sees the jamming of the channel as an equivalent to a military operation fight on the ground (hence, the TV Channel Management has given the channel nickname of “the aircraft carrier” in fighting Hafter deceit). Libya Al-Ahrar for Haftar and his allies – in particular – The UAE – has become a nuisance as it started to expos both Hafter and the Emirates describing them as evil killer killing innocent Libyans. The decision was taken by Hafter “such channel must be ended via an advanced and expensive piracy technology and interference – and at any cost”. This is an enough reason for the jamming of Libya Al-Ahrar Channel. Among other reasons and justifications for why the channel ought to be jammed, comes, exposure by the channel of Hafter’s policy that is devoted to spreading fear among the Libyan people in particular the 2.5 million people residing Tripoli, so that they adhere and fall to Hafter’s dominance and to acquiesce to him and surrender to his attack, and to accept his military rule as the only solution to the country. Such evil campaign was intended to replace people’s claims of their rights in having civil state, elected government, peaceful power transitions through elections, democracy, freedoms, and the supremacy of the constitution and law overall, where Hafter during his ten months of Tripoli invasion had used as a policy of “political fear” – so that he passthrough his dictatorial political project by subjecting the 2.5 Million in Tripoli to such fear. And, as people in Tripoli, and other individuals and institutions started to surrender to his above project and campaign – in comes Libya Al-Ahrar Channel to bring shame to that campaign through its awareness Noan Ben Otman weekly show discouraging the notion of fear and the notion of creating the state of silence and political fear, which depends on the creation of a layer of tribal supporters as a regime corner in maintaining stability. Hafter almost succeeded in dominating the streets of Tripoli – in fact the entire Western Region of Libya – before, Libya Al-Ahrar Channel showed-up and reversed that phenomenon and evil terror campaign (both physical “militarily” and media).
Libya Al-Ahrar Channel stood firmly against Haftar’s military and terror media campaign, in which it succeeded, by stopping his fear expansion over people’s minds and hearts and started to empower people to stop and stand to such form of aggression and encouraging people not to surrender to Hafetr’s overwhelming false fear campaigns. In fact to the extent people stared to laugh at Hafter – through the “Noman Bin Otman Show” – keenly waiting for it once a week and for 2-4 hours each session, where on the morning and the day and week after Noman’s show still strongly resonates in people’s talks in cafes and houses and at work causing the discreditation of Hafter and challenging Hafter’s Army motives.?!
People in Tripoli and throughout the Western Region of Libya – in fact – even in the East and South of Libya people were beginning to be motivated when the said channel show started to strip Haftar naked from his false proclamations, allegations and rejecting to submit to his fear campaign. Such, increasing huge impact on people psychology encouraging people to be brave and to change their opinions of Hafetr has meant a decrease in pro-Hafter public views and has badly shock the foundation and justification by Hafter in justifying his militarization project of Libya.
The TV show also focused on encouraging people to demand their civil rights in requesting a civil state, freedom and democracy, and to reject the rule of an individual and his tribe and to recall on all of the sacrifices offered by the Libyan people for extracting their freedom from the previous dictator regime during the 17th February revolution in 2011. The show has also, encouraged people to defend Tripoli from Hafter’s aggression.
Hafter’s policy of political fear over Libyans over the course of 10 months has caused terror and fear using 7 Satellite TV Channels broadcasting Hafter’s fear messages and reaching the hearts and minds of 2.5 million people residing in Tripoli – such an adaptation by Hafter was destroyed by the Libya Al-Ahrar TV Channel by specifically using one weekly show only “The Noman Ben Otman Show” where tens of thousands of Libyan people shifted from following those 7 channels belonging to Hafetr and started to follow the show and change their views and minds about Hafter and his army. Haftar’s media, included, and unfortunately, some of the prominent media figures, technocrats, businessmen and thinkers, journalists and even some lawyers and judges! All, playing as part of Hafter fear, havoc, false advocacy and terror campaign. Such subjected and systematic fear campaign would also serve for Hafter plan that is intended to create a tribal class political presence, for example, what happened when Haftar’s followers known as the (blood carriers or the blood thirsty in Benghazi) burned the houses of Hafter’s political opponents and stole their money and victimised and displaced over 100,000 people from the eastern region – not to mention – the violent arrest and forced absenteeism of the deputy parliament Mrs. Sregio and handers others is the best evidence. However, Hafter’s supporters called such atrocities as “reasons to bringing stability”!, where on the contrary its well known that “violence-based stability is not considered sustainable and is doomed to failure”.
Libya Al-Ahrar Channel stands in the face of all Haftar’s military project by exposing his ideals, his wickedness and his evil to Libyan people. While he is using false media and jamming Libya Al-Ahrar Channel, he tries to confuse the societal situation in Libya and create chaos, which will contribute to feeling sorry and regret for the previous dictatorial regime with its past days!, thus, in term creates an acceptance of Haftar as a solution!?.
Hafter adopted the fight against Libya Al-Ahrar Channel through the systematic jamming on the satellite from which the channel is broadcasting – as the channel took it upon itself and stride to refute all those political and psychological games that Haftar and his allies had practiced over the Libyan people over the last 10 months – and, where the channel eliminated the element of fear in the Libyans’ conscience from Haftar and made it a mockery to all Libyans, which disturbed Haftar a lot and caused him a great state of lowering his popularity that had been built for him by his inflated media, and by that, Libya Al-Ahrar Channel would have defeated Haftar again, which will be added to His military defeat on a the Tripoli outskirts, which is the moral media defeat, which will cause him to lose militarily, politically and media wise – which forced him and his allies to jam the channel.
Going back to the issue of jamming the channel, it appears Haftar’s approach in using and applying the interference tactics over Libya Al-Ahara Channel – done through electromagnetic frequencies that is broadcasted over a ground station that sends the broadcast signal to the satellite. Then the satellite dish sends the same signal on another frequency, but the transmission is in this case disorganized. This makes the viewers receivers unable to receive the original signal, and as it is known, the satellite channels are given both up and down frequencies, and the upward ones are often subject to interference. So, why did the recent jamming differ from the previous ones. According – to the satellite that is hosting the Libya Al-Ahrar Channel, where they confirm that “the jamming of the channel this time is completely different from the previous one, it no longer attacks the channel by sending a jammed signal but rather it turns to the satellite dish itself (moon) which the channel uses to broadcast and that cannot be reached except through large jamming stations which has a high-level security nature, such stations are often situated in Europe, which leads us to the following questions: How can these stations from Europe allow such jamming to take place?”. The question asked here to: or is there a European Official that is implicated in financial corruption to facilitates such interference attack? Or would they be a European Country that has allowed for the interference to happen from a specific protected station that is located in Europe?, and Where the jamming of Libya Al-Ahrar Channel happened from? and by doing so – the Europeans have allowed “the jammers” to pass the stations’ security protocol, technical and legal immunization to allow for the interference where the Libya Al-ahrar Channel and its broadcast were attacked. Is this considered a scandalous violation of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, in which Article 19 states that “Every person has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without any interference, to receive news and ideas, to receive and broadcast them by any means, without restriction to borders and geography”?
People are maybe asking; where are the European: Judicial Systems, Civil Society Institutions, Press and Media Watchdogs and Institutions, Freedom of Information Organizations, and European legal and Monitoring Bodies from all these interference and shameful attack and serious infringement affecting and impacting freedom of opinion. Such Jamming Piracy tool is designed to prevent the Channel from broadcasting must be seen as a tool of repression and an attempt to silence the freedom of expression that is guaranteed by the international regulations.
Whilst the channel has been able to discover the interference source and to know who was behind it, as the channel has evidence of the interference that it suffered and was subjected to and knows the party/parties involved, the channel further states “that, the jamming on the channel at its beginning was a normal jam and was not highly technical, to which degree the channel engineers were able to overcome it and deal with it, because the jammers were relying on sending a signal higher than the channel’s signal from the broadcasting platforms situated in Libya, most likely from Al-Regma in Benghazi or from Tobruk city in eastern Libya. The jamming that took place from there were only for minutes and then ends, after which the channel’s engineers were able to get rid and eliminate it in several technical ways, and the jammers became disorganized and despite all their daily attempts they could not do anything”, and, “After that, the issue of interference had developed further according to the host of Libya Al-Ahrar Channel – the source confirms that the interference to the channel this time around is completely different from the previous one, it no longer attacks the channel by sending a jammed signal but rather it turns to the actual satellite dish itself which the channel uses to broadcast and that cannot be reached except through large and secured jamming stations, and all such jamming stations are situated in Europe. Thus, the engineers and technicians at the company hosting the broadcast of Libya Al-Ahrar Channel and the engineers of the channel themselves noted that the interference continues for long hours, not as it happens every time before for a few minutes’ interruption. This huge and specific interference appeared on January 2020, which is the day usually reserved for the Libyans evening with the biggest influential program in this war: “The Noman Bin Othman Program and Show” and continued for two hours the next day at the same hour and minute and with the same pace and form, and until this day the interference is still continuing, but since last Sunday the interference began to continue for ten continuous hours”. Libya Al-Ahrar Channel also emphasized an important set of facts: “we know that such type of jam is very expensive and costs millions of dollars and causes the satellite to be hit directly, which means that it came from a region in Europe and no Arab country has such technical ability or station to carry out such advanced interference – and that the interference itself has caused a dropdown of a full package carrying 16 other satellite channels, all of which stop broadcasting”.
The most important question in interference is why the channel’s voice must be silenced with all this huge technical and financial force! This is because the channel’s role was central to the defence against the war on Tripoli, both moral and tactical, with what the channel played in terms of exposing the nature of the aggression against Tripoli, the attacking parties, the sources of their financing, and who is behind them. Especially that the current form of attack on Libya Al-Ahrar Channel came now precisely because of preparations for a comprehensive military attack by the army and soldiers of Haftar, with their requirement to permanently silence Libya Al-Ahrar Channel so that the invasion process can take place in complete calm.