Newspaper names group behind complaint against RT France
A little-known group of anti-Kremlin activists led by a Lithuanian businessman has filed the complaint that triggered an investigation against RT France, French daily Liberation wrote on Wednesday.
French media reported earlier that the country’s media regulator Arcom opened a preliminary investigation into RT France over supposed “omissions” in its coverage of the Yellow Vests protests, as well as events in Syria and the Central African Republic, France’s former colony.
According to Liberation, the regulator was alerted by a group called ‘Media Democracies Europe,’ whose mission was described as “defending a certain vision of the right to information.” The group’s co-chairman, Lithuanian businessman Mindaugas Puodziunas, was quoted as saying that the outfit consisted of a dozen citizens of Eastern European countries who “oppose the Kremlin.”
Created last June, Media Democracies Europe “does not have a profile of traditional NGOs scrutinizing the media,” the paper said.
The group chose to operate in France because its laws were “more suited” for possible sanctions against news organizations, the paper said, adding that President Emmanuel Macron’s office was informed several months ago about “the initiative against RT” and the complaint to Arcom.
Ksenia Fedorova, RT France editor-in-chief, called the attacks against the channel “censorship.”
On Wednesday, Fedorova tweeted an excerpt from the Liberation story, adding: “No need to say more.”
Allegations against RT France came to light a week after a German media regulator upheld a ban preventing RT’s German-language sister channel, RT DE, from broadcasting in Germany. RT DE appealed the ruling on Wednesday.
In response to the silencing of RT DE, Russia banned German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle from broadcasting in the country and stripped its reporters in Moscow of press credentials.