ER Editor: This was picked up from reporting by Reuters. See also this link: Dutch journalists, rights group file lawsuit challenging EU ban on RT, Sputnik. Of note:
“If you’re talking about sanctions, then the idea is to punish Russia,” said Thomas Bruning of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ).
“But in fact you’re punishing the European people, by not treating them like adults and not giving them the possibility to access information.”
He said that allowing the ban to go unchallenged could set a precedent for banning other politicized news outlets.
“We all feel that disinformation is a serious problem of our times. Censorship is an easy answer, but it’s not the right answer.”
The ban, which was decided by European political leaders in the European Council, covers “all means for transmission and distribution” of the Russian outlets, including cable, satellite, television, internet platforms, websites and apps.
The NVJ lawsuit is also backed by several Dutch internet providers and by online liberties group Bits of Freedom, known for its net neutrality campaigns.
Dutch Activists File Collective Complaint With European Court Over EU Ban on RT, Sputnik
Sofia Chegodaeva | Samizdat (RT)
In March, access to several Russian media outlets, including Sputnik and RT, was suspended in the EU as part of sanctions against Russia over its special military operation in Ukraine.
A group of Dutch activists has filed a collective complaint with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg over the EU’s ban on Sputnik and RT, a representative of the Bits of Freedom human rights organisation, Rejo Zenger, said.
Earlier this week, the Dutch Association of Journalists released a statement saying that, together with several other organisations, it plans to challenge the EU’s ban on Sputnik and RT.
According to Zenger, the decision to block Russian media was “political” and not reviewed by “independent judges”.
Broadcasting and distribution of content of the Sputnik news agency and RT TV channel was banned in the EU in early March as part of anti-Russian sanctions over Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly commented on such restrictions, saying that Moscow did not expect the West to impose sanctions on journalists, athletes, and cultural representatives. (ER: We certainly excelled ourselves in this.) The head of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation, Valery Fadeev, sent an appeal to the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Teresa Ribeiro, asking her to take measures to comply with norms concerning freedom of the press due to the repression of Russian-language publications.
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