On 20 September 2017 the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania (hereinafter – the RTCL) adopted a decision to restrict for 6 months the free reception of the Russian Federation television channel “TVCI”, which is retransmitted in the territory of Lithuania by several audiovisual service providers. The decision will come into force if it will be approved by the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.
The RTCL established that the information published in the programme “The Right to Know” on 10 June 2017 by the television channel “TVCI” violated the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public, because the statements of Vladimir Zirinovsky, the participant of the talk show, incited to hatred among nations and instigated war. The dissemination of such information is forbidden by the mentioned law.
The RTCL notified the broadcaster about the alleged violations and asked it to provide explanations about the disseminated information. The RTCL also informed the broadcaster about the possible sanctions and invited the representatives of the channel to the RTCL meeting, when the issue under the consideration will be discussed to express their views and additional comments.
On 6 September 2017 the RTCL received the broadcaster’s letter by which it did not acknowledge the violations. The representative of the broadcaster, director of development of the channel “TVCI” Alexey Gushchin took part in the meeting, where the temporary suspension of the retransmission of the television programme “TVCI” in Lithuania was discussed and submitted his additional arguments that did not differ from those contained in the broadcasters’s letter of September 6th, 2017.
After evaluating the violations and taking into account the evaluation of the contents of the said programme by independent experts, the RTCL decided to temporary suspend the retransmission of this programme in Lithuania.