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Latvian broadcasting authorities put Russia’s TV channel back on air

July 08, 2014, 18:50 UTC+3 RIGA
The country’s electronic media council voted in early April to cease transmitting RTR channel, claiming it had spread military propaganda
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

RIGA, July 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Latvia's broadcasting authority announced on Tuesday the return of Russia's RTR television channel on the national airwaves following the channel’s almost three months suspension.

The country’s electronic media council voted in early April to cease transmitting RTR, claiming it had spread military propaganda. Russian activists have challenged the ban in a Riga court.

Russian activists challenged the ban on the television channel’s broadcasting in a Riga court branding the decision as a violation of the constitutional freedom of expression.

Latvian public organizations’ council, which incorporates over 70 of the country’s social institutions, supported the move of the pro-Russian activists in April.

The council addressed a number of the country’s high officials, including President Andris Berzins, Constitutional Court chairperson Aija Branta, chairman of Latvian Journalists’ Union Juris Paiders, chairman of the parliamentary Social Cohesion Committee, Ilmars Latkovskis, and Latvian human rights ombudsman Juris Jansons. The embassies of Germany, France, Great Britain and the USA in Latvia received the same message as well.

The Council's members were asking for assistance in order to prevent a conflict and a split in civil society.

The organizations’ council officials said that being Latvia’s permanent residents, they considered such bans to be a direct violation of their access to information and the freedom of choice.

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