The National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP) of Latvia has cancelled the license to broadcast the Russian-language “First Baltic Channel”. According to the statement given by the Council, the decision was made because during the year three significant violations of the law on electronic media were revealed in the activities of the channel.
As specified, firstly, a fine was imposed on the channel for gross violation of the basic conditions of the broadcasting license by broadcasting programmes created by other electronic media. In the second case, a fine was imposed for non-compliance with the rule to provide at least 51 per cent of the broadcast weekly to European audiovisual broadcasts. In the third case, a fine was imposed for spreading false information about the coronavirus.
It is noted that the First Baltic Channel has not received the decision of the Council of Latvia yet. According to the representative of the channel, Vyacheslav Stepanenko, the company got to know about this decision from the media and only after the chairman of the council informed their lawyer about it in a phone call half.
“I do not know under what procedure and under what agenda it was done, because there is no such issue on the official website of the council,” Stepanenko said. “As for the comments on the essence of the decision, they will follow only when our lawyers get acquainted with the text of the decision itself, which we also do not have. This news has not yet been documented by anything, because somewhere in the depths of the NEPLP, a decision has been made and it is like this.”
He stressed that a press release published on the NEPLP website is not worth a comment, as it is not an official administrative act, thus, not a legal document.