European Commision allows Lithuanian ban of Russian TV channel for inciting hatred

Lithuania’s decision to suspend broadcasting rights of Russian TV channel RTR-Planeta complies with EU legislation, a report on the European Commission’s website said.

In December 2016, Lithuanian authorities notified the European Commission that Russian language TV channel RTR-Planeta, broadcasting to Lithuanian from Sweden, was disseminating material inciting hatred. Thus, Lithuanian authorities blocked the broadcasting of the channel for three months.

"Statements made in several RTR-Planeta programs, partly related to a military confrontation involving Russia and contained explicit threats of seizure and destruction of other countries, including the Baltic states. Consequently, in Lithuania, with its history of once being a part of the Soviet Union, tensions could have risen,” the statement said.

The statement noted that by taking action regarding the suspension of the TV channel, Lithuania acted on the basis of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), which prohibits inciting hatred.

The European Commission recognized the decision of the Lithuanian authorities concerning RTR-Planeta as proportionate and justified.

  Lithuania, RTR-Planeta, ban