2021.09.08 11:35

RSF denounces restrictions on press freedom in Lithuania and Poland

LRT.lt2021.09.08 11:35

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has denounced “excessive restrictions on press freedom on the borders of Poland and Lithuania with Belarus”.

In a tweet on Tuesday evening, the RSF urged “both governments to allow journalists to report on the border issues which are of public concern”.

The statement comes in response to severe limitations placed on media in Poland, as well as the limits on the right to access borders with Belarus in Latvia and Lithuania.

The Baltic states and Poland say they are under hybrid attack from Belarus, which is facilitating irregular migration to apply pressure on its Western neighbours in response to international sanctions.

On Monday, the largest Lithuanian media outlets signed a joint letter, urging authorities to allow border access. Due to the ongoing restrictions, Lithuanian media is unable to counter Belarusian propaganda, nor verify information provided by the authorities.

Read more: Lithuanian media outlets call on authorities to allow border access, say current restrictions 'unacceptable'

“It is unacceptable to ban the work of journalists on the grounds that it may be exploited by another country,” the joint statement reads. “This cannot be a reason in a democratic country to restrict the freedom of the media and the public's right to impartial information.”

RSF also expressed support for the “common letter of the Lithuanian media denouncing the severe restrictions of press freedom”.

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