Urgent news of section
Latvia begins blocking RT news site aimed at country’s Russian-speaking minority as outlet accuses Riga of attack on free press

Latvia begins blocking RT news site aimed at country’s Russian-speaking minority as outlet accuses Riga of attack on free press

RT confirmed on Wednesday morning that authorities had started to implement restrictions on access to its Russian website, in line with a decision by the Latvian National Electronic Media Council. The ruling, issued in June last year, has already seen seven separate RT channels officially banned from the airwaves in the Baltic country. Free press watchdog Reporters Without Borders railed against the decision at the time, saying it was made on a “flimsy legal basis.”

“Latvia has begun to shut down access to the RT website in Russian. The site is now inaccessible to users of several major providers in the country,” the network said in a statement.

Officials in Riga have claimed that the Russian state-funded outlet is “effectively controlled” by Dmitry Kiselyov, a Moscow-born journalist who is on a list of individuals officially sanctioned by the EU. However, nobody in Riga has ever produced any evidence to demonstrate Kiselyov has ever held any role at RT, its parent company or any of its projects, channels or platforms. In a statement issued at the time, Kiselyov mocked the decision, saying that he had no involvement with the news group and arguing that the move should be reversed.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Anna Belkina, Deputy Editor in Chief of RT, contended that the decision “flows from a series of troublingly absurd assertions made by Latvian intelligence, in which they falsely link a sanctioned individual to RT.”

The claims, she said, have become “a rabbit hole which has led its government to blindly take this illegitimate action. Not only has Latvia already been castigated by Reporters Without Borders for misusing EU policy, and threatened its own people with draconian fines for watching the media they want to consume, but now it is sending a message to the world that its free market and free press is officially dead.”

“Sadly,” Belkina added, “this is just the latest step in what’s become a quotidian campaign against RT and other alternative voices around the world.” However, she said, “rarely are such actions so thinly veiled as those in Latvia."

A number of visitors to RT’s online content on Wednesday were redirected to a message warning them that their “internet browser is trying to connect to a website which, in the territory of the Latvian Republic, is unlawfully distributing television programs without a re-transmission permit.”

Valentin Rozhnetsov, Editor in Chief of the Russian state-funded Sputnik Latvia news service said that the country “is trying with all its might to play the role of a state governed by the rule of law… this time though, something seems to have broken down.” He added that the move was based on “thin compliance with the law” and claimed that, instead of being based on agreed policy, it was being made on a technicality, driven by “political” motives.

The previous ruling affected channels including RT, RT HD, RT Arabic, RT Spanish, RT Documentary HD, RT Documentary and RT TV.

In February, local media announced that the Seimas, Latvia’s parliament, had adopted a bill in its final reading that will criminalize people for watching unauthorized broadcasts picked up from across the country’s eastern border. Ivars Abolins, chairman of Latvia’s National Council for Electronic Media, issued a statement backing the ban. “We have protected, are protecting, and will protect our information space,” he said. The regulators claim that talk-show guests on the Russian-speaking channels have incited hatred and called for war in Europe.

At the time, the Russian Embassy in Riga issued a stern protest in response. In a statement, diplomats claimed that the policy was “in the best traditions of dictatorship.”

More than one in three Latvians reports speaking Russian in the home as a native language, but dozens of broadcasters showing programming aimed at the minority group have seen their licenses revoked and have been pulled off the air. In 2018, the country’s main opposition party, Harmony, which is led by Russian speakers and has close links to parties across the border, won nearly a quarter of the available seats in the Seimas in a parliamentary election.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Source: www.rt.com

The last notes - Политика

most read news

#Политика

He told the YouTube channel Solovyov Live that the terrorists’ considerable cache of weapons, and vehicles, is a massive risk for Afghanistan.“Javelins are supplied to Ukraine from the United States,”
подробнее...

The incident, which happened last week, was revealed by Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin, speaking to the Western-funded Hromadske TV on Monday."Our plane was hijacked," Yenin
подробнее...

Speaking on Sunday as part of a meeting with members of the governing United Russia party, ahead of parliamentary elections next month, Putin paid tribute to those behind the immunization drive. “We
подробнее...

The coronavirus was the main cause of 38,922 deaths across Russia in July, federal statistics agency Rosstat said in its monthly report.In 6,655 additional cases, the virus was listed as the suspected
подробнее...

In a statement issued on Monday, the regional police headquarters confirmed that a 26-year old foreign citizen had been arrested for “disturbing public order.” According to officials, “during the
подробнее...

Speaking to local news outlet European Truth on Monday, after her attendance at the ‘Crimean Platform’ conference, the leader of the Baltic nation revealed that she “advises Estonians not to invest in
подробнее...

The Ukrainian authorities consider Moscow an enemy, as they accuse it of annexing Crimea – despite the peninsula overwhelmingly voting to reunite with Russia in a 2014 referendum – and of other
подробнее...

Speaking as part of a meeting with schoolchildren on Wednesday, Putin said that the country's bloody history had hindered the growth of its population. "Here, in our nation, over the course of the
подробнее...

Speaking on Monday at the opening of the ‘Crimean Platform’ conference, designed to bring dignitaries together to discuss the future of the region, Zelensky announced that “the countdown to the
подробнее...

Anders Aslund, a former senior fellow at NATO’s Atlantic Council adjunct, has argued recently that Russians need to reconsider the achievements of the 1990s to set the country on the right path. The
подробнее...

Police in the Russian capital confirmed on Tuesday that they had “received a message from a woman claiming that all of the Tanuki restaurants in Moscow had been rigged to blow up. Authorities checked
подробнее...

“On August 19, 2021, six Israeli Air Force tactical fighters launched 24 guided missiles from Lebanese airspace at targets in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, deputy head of
подробнее...

The fall of the US-backed Afghan government and the Taliban takeover have triggered a new torrent of refugees seeking to escape the warzone and reach the European Union. The Belarus route has become
подробнее...

On the one hand, the communist state was much more than Russia. But, on the other, Russia played a vital role as a binding force keeping more than 100 different nationalities together in the grand
подробнее...

Speaking at a briefing, Mariusz Błaszczak revealed that the country’s frontier would be reinforced with a solid fence “two and a half meters high,” and that work on installing it would begin this
подробнее...

The meeting, however, comes at the worst possible time. And it isn’t even really Ukraine’s fault. As even the staunchly pro-Maidan American-run media there have to admit, the mix of oligarchy,
подробнее...

More than 9,600 rhinoceroses were killed between 2010 and 2019 as poachers keep hunting for their horns, which cost more than gold and platinum on the black market. Practitioners of Chinese
подробнее...

Speaking to Russia's Channel One, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin revealed that he would like to see the three famous space entrepreneurs come to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in October.He later confirmed
подробнее...