News

2015.09.08 13:45

Lithuanian regulatory agency suspends RTR Planeta

Algirdas Acus2015.09.08 13:45

Lithuania temporally suspended broadcasting Russian language channel RTR Planeta, because the special panel found it inciting war and hatred, and consultations with representatives did not lead to consensus. This is the first time in the European Union that country imposes such sanction.

Lithuania temporally suspended broadcasting Russian language channel RTR Planeta, because the special panel found it inciting war and hatred, and consultations with representatives did not lead to consensus. This is the first time in the European Union that country imposes such sanction.

A three-month suspension of RTR Planeta was declared by Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission. The Lithuanian watchdog said the Russian TV channel was inciting war and hatred, repeatedly violating the Law on Provision of Information to the Public. Therefore companies that rebroadcast RTR through cable network will be able to do that during the period of three months.

Previously Lithuania prohibited airing separate shows not originating from EU, but now entire program of RTR has been prohibited.

The decision was taken after negotiations failed with representatives of RTR television, and Lithuanian panel, within 15 days of the warning, did not get explanations to violations found. The panel said the European Commission had been notified of the violations and the planned sanctions.

The main reason behind the decision was continued incitement of war and hatred by Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, during TV show Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov.

The decision will take effect on 13 April and will not require a court sanction.

It is the first time that such procedure is applied in the European Union.

SHOTLIST

Vs of Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission meeting

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

EDMUNDAS VAITIEKŪNAS, Chairman of Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission:

It is the first time in European Union when regulatory agency takes such decision to restrict the whole program. Maybe there will be attempts to argue on nuances or something, but we think that we did meet all the legal criteria.

Cutaway

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

EDMUNDAS VAITIEKŪNAS, Chairman of Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission:

War incitement, hate, hatred, all these things were found.

Vs of journalist watching RTR Planeta on television

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

VAIVA ŽUKIENE, Chairman of Cable Television Association:

The decision was made by commission and truly if the program does not meet the law we just say to broadcaster that unfortunately, it is the same with every product if it does not meet quality standards.

Cutaway

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

VAIVA ŽUKIENE, Chairman of Cable Television Association:

Some operators have already activated channel Dozhd, but there is an inertia of audience, people got used to this this channel over the years and it is not very simple to switch to other channel. But indeed if violations will continue we will look for alternative channels.

Shot of watching television