Is censorship looming for Lithuania?

The Lithuanian parliament is currently debating a proposal put forward by the Radio and Television Commission aimed at banning information deemed to be damaging for the state. The way in which such content is being defined has commentators alarmed.

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Lietuvos žinios (LT) /

Plan to ban criticism of the government

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, warns Lietuvos žinios:

“It is argued that the proposed legislative changes are in compliance with the new EU regulations and will help combat disinformation. But in their present form they could hinder the daily work of journalists and harm democracy. The wording that this concerns information that 'harms the state, its institutions, the democratic constitution, national defence and the national identity' is problematic. ... The most dangerous part is the plan for a 'ban on fomenting dissatisfaction with the Lithuanian state'. That sounds like a ban on any criticism of the government.”

Delfi (LT) /

Journalists have themselves fueled fears

Commentators must put their own house in order, writes Delfi in view of parliament's plans:

“Journalists are now warning that press freedom will be limited. Instead they should ask whether they themselves haven't helped to create the siege mentality that's harming our democracy. Rather than asking for proof for the never-ending accusations against Russia, they write one-sided articles about the Russian threat. And not a few political scientists and experts are the same in this respect. Proud of their critical opinion of the government, they take the stories about Russia at face value.”