Commission: broadcast violated ethic norms

  • 2004-09-15
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - The Journalists and Publishers Ethics Commission on Sept. 13 recommended discontinuing broadcasts by the Latvia-registered First Baltic Channel after a recent airing was ruled as having breached ethical regulations and spreading disinformation harmful to the country's territorial integrity.

The Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission and Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis asked the ethics commission to determine whether a show, broadcast on the First Baltic Channel in late August, breached the public information provision law.
A violation of the law could be used as grounds for LRTC to apply sanctions on the First Baltic Channel, including termination of rebroadcasting rights.
Radio and Television Commission administration director Nerijus Maliukevicius said on Sept. 13 that panel lawyers would make a final decision on whether to cease broadcasting the Russian language channel in Latvia after they studied the conclusions.
The Latvia-based channel rebroadcasts programs of Russian ORT in all three Baltic states.
In Valionis' opinion, the Aug. 31 show distorted the historic truth about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and its consequences. "One can see that the broadcast basically vindicated the occupation of Lithuania and questioned legal base of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Lithuania," said the minister. "This is an outrage of the dignity of Lithuanian people and might trigger ethnic hatred."
On Aug. 23, 1939, Molotov, foreign minister of the Soviet Union and Ribbentropp, foreign minister of Nazi Germany, signed a pact and secret protocols dividing Eastern Europe into spheres of influence. As a result, the Soviet Union invaded Poland, Finland and the Baltic states in 1939 's 40.