Moldova has suspended the broadcasting licenses of six TV channels over “false information”, authorities said.
The decision to revoke the license was announced by Moldova’s Committee on Special Situations, which was formed after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Moldovan President Maya Sandu called the suspensions “an important step to prevent attempts to destabilize the country”.
“We cannot accept that during these challenging times our national security and the peaceful lives of our citizens are threatened by fugitives who want only one thing: to escape justice,” she said.
Why is the channel suspended?
Moldova’s audiovisual commission found “a lack of correct information when reporting on national events and the war in Ukraine”, the commission said.
It said the purpose of the suspension was to “prevent the risk of disinformation or attempts to manipulate public opinion”.
The channels whose licenses have been revoked are Primul, RTR Moldova, Accent TV, NTV Moldova, TV6 and Orhei TV.
Four of the six suspended channels regularly rebroadcast programs from Russian channels banned by the European Council for “continuous and consistent disinformation and war propaganda operations”.
Some of the channels are owned by people close to the fugitive oligarch Ilan Shor, leader of Shor’s party who has organized mass protests against the pro-Western government in Moldova in recent months.
TV6 called the suspension “completely unfounded” and an “unprecedented attack on freedom of speech, editorial freedom (and) journalistic freedom”.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the move a “cynical violation of the rights of minorities”.
Moldova “deliberately deprives millions of Russian-speaking residents of their last source of news content in their preferred language in the country,” she said, adding, “We see this ban as an unprecedented act of political censorship and an abuse of media pluralism.” principles, and a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of access to information.”
In Russia, journalists covering the conflict in Ukraine are required to refer to Russia’s war on Ukraine as a “special military operation.”
sdi/ar (Associated Press, AFP)