In the meeting on 14 February 2018 the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the RTCL) took a decision to suspend the free reception of the television channel “RTR Planeta” in the territory of Lithuania for 12 months. The decision was taken due to frequent violations of the European Union Audiovisual Media Services Directive and the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Provision of Information to the Public.
In 2017 in less than a 12 months’ period the RTCL established violations of the said legal acts three times.
The broadcast content repeatedly incited to hatred among nations and instigated war in the channel’s programme “Duel. Vladimir Solovjov programme” (broadcast on 16 March 2017), “Evening with Vladimir Solovjov” (broadcast on 31 May 2017) and “60 Minutes” (broadcast on 3 November 2017).
Considering that the television channel “RTR Planeta” is under the jurisdiction of Sweden, the RTCL acted in accordance with the set legal procedures of the European Union. The broadcaster was informed in writing about the established violations and was asked to provide explanations and comments on the matter each time, however it did not respond regarding any of the violations. The Swedish Broadcasting Commission was also informed each time in expectation to take measures to stop the violations and come to amicable settlement on the matter. Regretfully, Sweden has no national rules regarding restriction of retransmissions and the Swedish Broadcasting Commission has no powers to oblige a broadcaster to apply technical or programming measures, which would block access to a channel in or outside Sweden.
As the violations persisted, the RTCL decided to temporarily suspend the free reception of the television channel “RTR Planeta” in the territory of Lithuania.
The decision will come into force on 23 February 2018.