Vilnius Regional Administrative Court on Friday satisfied the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania’s request and halted the broadcasting of the Russian TV channel NTV Mir Lithuania for three months.
“The court sanctioned the commission’s decision over the rebroadcasting of NTV Mir Lithuania under which the commission ordered TV re-broadcasters operating under the Lithuanian jurisdiction to halt the rebroadcasting for three months with effect from the day of the decision coming into force,” Sigita Jacinevičienė-Baltaduonė, spokeswoman for the court, told BNS.
The decision came in response to a propaganda documentary, recently aired by the channel, which spread false information about the January 13 events, denied and diminished in an insulting manner the fact of Soviet aggression against the Republic of Lithuania, mocked at Lithuanian people and defiled the memory of Lithuanian freedom fighters.
RTCL chairman Edmundas Vaitiekunas confirmed it to BNS the ban would be valid for programs produced outside the EU, therefore, viewers would be able to watch part of the TV channel’s programs.
“We have not banned the channels itself, just programs produced in third countries, well, in this case, Russia. We have to bear in mind that this channel is registered in the EU, i.e., England. Formally, its’ an EU channel. But some re-broadcasters are shutting this channel down completely as we have received a letter from re-broadcasters in Mazeikiai and they say they are shutting it down and will broadcast some Ukrainian channel instead,” Vaitiekunas said.
In his words, all re-broadcasters will have to comply with the RTCL decision but they will be free to decide whether to only restrict broadcasts or ban the channel completely.
Earlier this week, the RTCL turned to court with a proposal to halt the rebroadcasting of NTV Mir Lithuania after it aired a documentary “The Damned: Trap for the Alpha Group”, distorting facts about the January 13, 1991 events in Lithuania.