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Lithuanian watchdog investigates Russian TV channel over denying Soviet aggression

1991 sausio 13-oji
January 13, 1991
Šaltinis: BNS
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The Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania has launched an investigation of the Russian-language First Baltic Channel over a broadcast denying Soviet crimes in Lithuania during the January 13 events.

Edmundas Vaitekūnas, the commission chairman, told BNS on Monday the commission launched the probe on its own initiative.

"We are monitoring the situation. ... We have noticed, identified it and launched a probe. We will make legal evaluation. We also plan to turn to the analogue Latvian institution," he said.

According to Vaitekūnas, the RTCL may impose sanctions on cable TV providers for rebroadcasting the channel. Meanwhile, the Latvian institutions are expected to punish the channel itself as it is registered in Latvia.

"This is Latvia's jurisdiction, and this is not the first time as in 2004 a violation was identified in the program "Secrets of the Century". Requests were made and the First Baltic channel was fined 2,000 lats in Latvia. In this case, we also plan to cooperate with the Latvian side," Vaitekūnas said.

"We also have measures as we issue rebroadcasting licenses for cable TV providers," he added.

Following the First Baltic Channel's broadcast "Man and Law" on Friday, Lithuanian Conservative MP Rasa Juknevičienė turned to the Communications Regulatory Authority and the RTCL, demanding that the channel's broadcasting be stopped.

"The public in Lithuania, analysts, politicians in all Baltic states have been discussing recently the information wars the Russian Federation is waging against us. I believe that the recent incident offends the Lithuanian nation and deserves serious evaluation," Juknevičienė said.

The broadcast in question included an interview with Mikhail Golovatov, the then commander of the Alpha Group that stormed the TV Tower in Vilnius and other people who denied the military attack.

Fourteen people were killed during an attempt by the Soviet army and special forces to take over the Vilnius TV Tower on January 13, 1991, and more than 1,000 unarmed civilians were injured.

BNS
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