Lithuania blocks Russian channels for “military propaganda”
A Lithuanian court has allowed an application from the Radio and Television Broadcasting Commission and suspended transmission of the Russian TV channel NTV Mir [NTV World] for three months and there are plans to also remove the channels Rossiya and ORT [First Channel].
According to Journalist Ethics Inspector Zita Zamzickienė, the programme News of the Week on Rossiya contains element of military propaganda which is prohibited by Article 135 of Lithuania’s Constitution.
The moves are in connection with news broadcasts – Vremya on ORT and News of the Week on Rossiya as well as a documentary on NTV.
Ms Zamzickienė explains that they are dealing mainly with reports on events in Ukraine, with the news reports claiming that Lithuania was training fighters for EuroMaidan. She says that the commission must decide what action to take with respect to representatives of Russian TV channels who in their information programmes “spread propaganda, stir up inter-ethnic enmity and call to war”.
The initial ban, however, follows a documentary “Sentenced. Trap for the Alpha Group” on NTV. This presents an an offensively untruthful version of the events on Jan 13 1991 in Vilnius when 13 Lithuanians died as Soviet troops stormed a TV tower.
Russian media have claimed that the civilians were killed by Lithuanians to discredit the Soviet army. This, it should be noted, is their general refrain. In recent weeks the same media have claimed that protesters were themselves behind the gunning down by police snipers of unarmed protesters in Kyiv - also supposedly to discredit the regime.