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Lithuania’s struggle with alternative viewpoints on the web targets free speech — diplomat

January 25, 2018, 18:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A new upswing of Russophobia and struggle with own history is gaining strength in Lithuania, according to the Russian diplomat

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MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Lithuanian government’s striving to use the Internet for struggle with alternative viewpoints splits society and violates the principles of free speech, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

"A new upswing of Russophobia and struggle with own history is gaining strength in Lithuania," she said. "This can be seen, among other things, in the advent of a website that publishes the personal data of the Lithuanian citizens, who have had the courage to voice their own position regarding the facts from recent history."

"They are labeled as traitors and accused of glorifying the policy of the Soviet Union and the Kremlin," Zakharova said. "Someone has put them on the blacklist published by the website."

This looks like "overpowering censorship" targeting "any alternative opinions".

"That’s a rather weird type of democracy and a weird understanding of free speech," Zakharova said. "There’s an impression the new website is provoking a split in society and overt fighting with dissenting speech."

"It would be nice, of course, is this situation stopped gaining pace because otherwise it would stand in a stark contrast with all the norms of freedom of speech and would resemble the odious [Ukrainian] portal Mirotvorets [Peacekeeper] that calls for pointblank persecution of certain people, including reporters, and publishes their personal data," she said.

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