From 1 October amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public will enter into force in Lithuanian, following adjustments taking into account changes in the security situation. It has been claimed that these amendments will increase the security of Lithuania's information sphere.
The law establishes fines to broadcasters amounting to 3 percent of their annual income for publishing war propaganda or information inciting change of Lithuania's constitutional order through the use of force, instigating attempts against Lithuania's sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence, or for publishing information that incites war or hatred.
Broadcasters showing programmes from other sources that can be defined in these terms may face fines amounting to 3 percent of their annual income for failing to ensure that programmes adhere to national requirements established by the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania or for repeated broadcast of programmes that violate one of the aforementioned laws.
The law was amended with a provision which enables a person to appeal to institutions responsible for control of information that may not be published with a motivated request to carry out an investigation or apply sanctions in case violations were made.
If circumstances mentioned in the appeal turn out to be true, a responsible institution will have to make a decision within 20 days confirming that such information was indeed published or disseminated and will have to impose objective sanctions on the producer and/or broadcaster.
In addition to this, the amendments made entrusted the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania with more duties and responsibilities.
A total of 79 MPs voted for the amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public, 4 voted against and 27 abstained.