- Posted February 16, 2014 by
Lithuanian watchdog demands apology from Russian TV channel over false statements about January 1991 events
False facts about the Soviet aggression against Lithuania on January, 13, 1991, were reported during the First Baltic Channel's broadcast "Man and Law" on October 4.
"The commission is calling on the FBC to apologize to the people of Lithuania over the spread of such information that might have offended their civic feelings," the watchdog said in a statement.
Following the broadcast, cable TV provider Cgates stopped the rebroadcasting of the Latvian-registered FBC.
The FBC's broadcast 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.
Some 14 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.
A Vilnius court on Monday suspended the rebroadcasting of the Russian-produced First Baltic Channel in the territory of Lithuania for three months.
The court ruling is final and not subject to appeals, the court's spokeswoman Sigita Jacinevičienė-Baltaduonė told BNS.
"After analyzing the commission's request and studying the written material, the video recording of the Man and Law feature, the court found that the circumstances established by the commission are consistent with the provisions of the Law on Provision of Information to the Public and granted the commission's request to sanction the October 9 finding," said Jacinevičienė-Baltaduonė.
The court upheld Wednesday's decision of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission to suspend broadcasts of the First Baltic Channel's contents produced in Russia for three months.
The decision came after the Russian-language channel aired a broadcast on Soviet aggression against Lithuanian citizens on January 13, 1991. The show was met with outrage due to what was perceived as its propagandist nature and distortion of facts.
The commission said the broadcast contained misleading information that fuelled hatred, mocked the people of Lithuania, and scorned the memory of Lithuanian freedom fighters.
Meanwhile, the First Baltic Channel issued a statement on Friday, saying the move to suspend the broadcasts without a court order was unlawful.