16:56 GMT +323 July 2019
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    The Polish government has begun censoring independent media in the country. The first one to fall is the Polish commercial radio station Radio Hobby.

    Poland Censors Commercial Radio Station That Airs Sputnik

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    The Polish government has begun censoring independent media in the country. The first one to fall is the Polish commercial radio station Radio Hobby.

    The Polish National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) canceled the broadcasting license of Radio Hobby, which airs Radio Sputnik Polska.

    Radio Hobby broadcasts Radio Sputnik for an hour every day between 9 PM and 10 PM, based on a contract signed three years ago the radio station Voice of Russia.

    "But you promised there will be no censorship," Sputnik Polska reader Jan Kowalski commented on the story.

    The reason why Radio Hobby's license was cancelled was due to the fact that the radio station was allegedly selling its airtime to a foreign government, Pawel Kubalski, the founder of Radio Hobby, told Sputnik Polska.

    However, the selling of the airtime to a foreign government is not forbidden.

    "Polskie Radio Program I [the Polish government's public radio broadcaster] airs the hour-long program Radio Vatican; that is, if we're deprived of our license I'll ask the government broadcasting council to do the same with Polskie Radio Program, so they would also have their license revoked," Kubalski told Sputnik.

    Interestingly, the license troubles for Radio Hobby happened during the same week the new right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS) presented its cabinet. PiS came out victorious in the October 25 national election with 37.58 percent of the votes, raking in 232 seats in the 460-member lower chamber of the Polish parliament.

    However, Kubalski doesn't believe that the PiS was behind the act, as KRRiT is still under the control of the old government. That's why it's a hoax made to show Russia that it was the new government that decided to revoke the license right after their inauguration.

    "It's a political intrigue and we've gotten right in the center of it," Kubalski said, as cited by Sputnik Polska.

    Radio Hobby has been broadcasting the Russian radio show for 5 years. During this time, nobody said anything against it, including the PiS, the most anti-Russian political party in Poland, Kubalski said.

    The situation is absurd, Kubalski said. Radio Hobby would start the administrative procedure to defend its legal rights, demanding KRRiT to revise the decision. The whole thing is going to take a couple of months, the head of Radio Hobby revealed.

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    Tags:
    radio station, political game, censorship, Polish National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), Law and Justice Party (Poland), Sputnik, Pawel Kubalski, Poland, Russia
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