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IRIS 2017-10:1/26

Lithuania

LRTK blocks Russian TV channel TVCI for six months

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Tobias Raab

Stopp Pick & Kallenborn, Saarbrücken

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission (LRTK) has decided to restrict the free reception of the Russian television channel TVCI, the international version of Russian channel TVC, for six months.

The LRTK considered that in June of this year, TVCI had broadcast content that incited war and hatred during the programme “The Right to Know”, in which Russia’s views on foreign policy issues had been expressed. At a hearing held by the LRTK before it issued its decision, the Russian channel’s Director of Development, Alexei Guscin, had spoken on the broadcaster’s behalf, categorically denying any breach of Lithuanian law.

In the past, a large number of Russian broadcasters were banned in Lithuania on the grounds of biased reporting and political interference. According to politicians and media representatives who advocate such bans, the resulting undisputed restriction of the freedom of expression is an inevitable response to the increasingly aggressive propaganda disseminated by Russian state broadcasters.

The six-month ban will come into force if the LRTK’s decision is approved by the Vilnius administrative court.

References
LRTK press release, 20 September 2017 EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18751