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Moldova suspends six channels over Ukraine 'disinformation'

December 17, 2022

Moldovan authorities said that the channels' licenses were revoked in order to prevent "disinformation" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Publika TV Chisinau broadcast
Moldovan authorities have revoked the broadcasting licenses of six television channelsImage: Dumitru Doru/epa/picture alliance

Moldova has suspended the broadcast licenses of six television channels over "disinformation," authorities said.

The decision to revoke the licenses was announced by Moldova's Commision for Exceptional Situations, which was established following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu called the suspensions "an important step to prevent attempts to destabilize" the country.

"We cannot accept that in this challenging period, the security of the state and the peaceful life of citizens are endangered by fugitives who want only one thing: to escape justice," she said.

Why were the channels suspended?

The commission said that Moldova's Audiovisual Council had found a "lack of correct information in the coverage of national events, but also of the war in Ukraine."

It said that the suspension aims to "prevent the risk of disinformation or attempts to manipulate public opinion."

The channels whose licenses were revoked were Primul, RTR Moldova, Accent TV, NTV Moldova, TV6 and Orhei TV.

Four of the six suspended channels regularly re-transmit programs from Russian channels that were banned by the European Council over "continuous and concerted disinformation and war propaganda actions."

Some of the channels are owned by people close to fugitive oligarch Ilan Shor, leader of the Shor Party which in recent months has organized large protests against Moldova's pro-Western government.


TV6 called the suspension "totally unfounded" and "an unprecedented attack on freedom of expression, editorial freedom (and) freedom of journalists."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova decried what she called a cynical infringement of the rights of national minorities" and "an unprecedented act of political censorship"Image: SNA/IMAGO

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova called the move a "cynical infringement of the rights of national minorities."

Moldova "deliberately deprives millions of Russian-speaking residents of the last sources in the country of news content in their preferred language,'' she said, adding, "We consider this ban to be an unprecedented act of political censorship, an abuse of the principle of media pluralism, and a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of access to information."

In Russia, journalists reporting on the conflict in Ukraine must call the Russia's war against Ukraine a "special military operation."

sdi/ar (AP, AFP)