Janis Mazeiks about suspension of licenses of TV channels: We encourage authorities to explain this decision

The Moldovan authorities should provide arguments to explain why the Commission for Exceptional Situations decided to suspend the broadcast licenses of six TV channels, said the Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova Janis Mazeiks. According to the European diplomat, a similar decision to ban a number of Russian TV channels was taken in the European Union, but that decision was very clearly explained to the population, IPN reports.

The EU Ambassador in Chisinau said that in the context of the war in Ukraine and of the more aggressive propaganda coming from Russia, particular limitations on the freedom of expression are justified. However, any decision that restricts the freedom of expression should be explained to society very well.

“For the European Union, the freedom of expression is a fundamental right. At the same time, particular limitation of this right is possible and it was seen that the European Union also imposed sanctions on TV channels that broadcast content from Russia, more exactly propaganda and disinformation, inciting hatred and incorrectly covering the war in Ukraine. We see that the Republic of Moldova is affected by disinformation and propaganda related to the war in Ukraine and we also saw that these channels whose licenses were suspended had been warned and fined by the Audiovisual Councils in the past. We yet saw that the decision taken and published by the CES was very succinct,” Janis Mazeiks stated in the talk show “Reflection Points” on Vocea Basarabiei station.

The European diplomat noted that the Moldovan authorities should provide additional explanations for the suspension of the broadcast licenses of the six TV channels.

“I would like only to encourage the state authorities to continue this explicative practice so that everyone realizes why this decision was taken as it initially generated questions and this is probably one of the differences between the sanctions imposed by the European Union and these ones as, in the case of the EU, it is very clear why particular sanctions are imposed so that the population understands it and this is a very important aspect,” stated Janis Mazeiks.

On December 16, the Commission for Exceptional Situations (CES) suspended the broadcast licenses of Primul în Moldova, RTR Moldova, Accent TV, NTV Moldova, TV6, and Orhei TV. It took such a decision after the Audiovisual Council found a lack of correct information in the coverage of national events, but also of the war in Ukraine.

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