Off the wire
WFP offers aid to vulnerable people displaced in west Libya  • 1st LD Writethru: Gold falls on positive U.S. job data  • Deputy UN chief discusses migrants issue with head of ASEAN  • Urgent: U.S. dollar mixed on weak data  • UN chief names high-level panel on humanitarian financing  • Urgent: Oil prices rise amid positive demand forecast  • Croatian state budget deficit stands at 1.9 bln dollars in 2014  • Activists petition Zambia over lifting ban on hunting of big cats  • China, Russia end joint naval exercises  • Urgent: Gold falls on better-than-expected U.S. data  
You are here:   Home

Roundup: Lithuania tightens propaganda countermeasures

Xinhua, May 22, 2015 Adjust font size:

Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, approved anti-propaganda amendments on Thursday to respond to the changing geopolitical situation and strengthen the security of Lithuania's information sector, it said.

The small Baltic country has found itself in a state of information war, since geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe emerged about one year and a half ago amid Ukraine conflict.

"NATO defense plans won't defend us from disinformation, lies and provocations. We have to develop our immunity against propaganda machine by ourselves," President Dalia Grybauskaite said last spring.

She urged Lithuanian media to separate lies from the truth.

"One tries to find ways, how to invest into media companies in Lithuania or to support them financially, thus making influence on their information and broadcasted content," said the State Security Department of Lithuanian in a statement, published in February.

The amendments to the law on provision of information to the public proposed by President Dalia Grybauskaite were backed by 79 members of the parliament, with four members voting against and 27 abstaining.

After coming into force in October 2015, the amendments will increase restrictions for what the Seimas called hostile propaganda.

The amendments include fines for broadcasters and rebroadcasters amounting to 3 percent of their annual revenue for broadcasting programs spreading "war propaganda or information urging to change Lithuania's constitutional order by force, instigating to infringe Lithuania's sovereignty and territorial integrity, political independency, as well as instigating war and hatred," according to a press release from the Seimas.

The amendments also increased the powers of Lithuania's radio and television commission to ban the broadcaster or rebroadcaster from their activity in Lithuania for violating the law.

According to the amendments, every citizen will now be allowed to appeal to Lithuania's radio and television commission or the Inspector of Journalist Ethics concerning restricted information.


Grybauskaite said the country now has legal measures to fight against propaganda and disinformation. In her words, informational attacks against the country and attempts to instigate hatred would not be left unpunished.

"The new tools will help strengthening country's security and defend freedom," said Grybauskaite in a statement.

"It's important that political parties have shown firm determination to fight against threats to the statehood," she added.

The president's office said the number of countries implementing tighter anti-propaganda measures was increasing, mentioning Latvia, Denmark, France, Germany and the UK. Endit