16:21 GMT +329 March 2017
    Protest against censorship

    '1984': EU Resolution on Russian Media First Step Toward 'Total Censorship'

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    EU Parliament Adopts Resolution Equating Sputnik, RT to Daesh Propaganda (82)

    The resolution adopted by the European Parliament against Russia's media outlets is the first step towards imposing censorship against all media sources which express different views from those promoted by the EU leadership, Italian journalist Giulietto Chiesa warns.

    The European Parliament's decision to crack down on Russia's news websites, most notably Sputnik and RT, and considering them alongside terrorist groups like Daesh and Al-Qaeda, has stirred a heated debate among international media pundits and independent observers.

    "I write for Sputnik and cooperate with different Russian television broadcasters. So what will they do to me now?" Giulietto Chiesa, an Italian journalist and Director of PandoraTV.it, asks rhetorically.

    According to Chiesa, the adoption of the controversial resolution is a step towards imposing censorship not only on Russian news websites but on all media outlets which express a point of view different from that of the EU establishment.

    "To put it bluntly: the aim of the resolution, whatever arguments are cited, is to impose censorship against all media — both Russian and non-Russian — which express opinions different from those postulated by Western leaders," Chiesa writes in his op-ed for Sputnik Italia.

    The Italian journalist calls attention to the fact that in accordance with the criteria cited by the resolution every citizen of the European Union who supports, reproduces or disseminates opinions and critique of the West's actions can be now branded as "a supporter of the Kremlin propaganda" that poses a "threat" to the sovereignty of this or that EU member state or the bloc in general.

    "It is clear to anyone that this is the way to kick off a 'witch hunt', that would ultimately silence all forms of political dissent in Europe," the Italian journalist warns.

    "Therefore what lies at the root of the problem is not just the right to spread the views expressed by the Russian media in the West, but the right of free speech and expression for all journalists, bloggers and media activists who work and live in the West," Chiesa highlights.

    Commenting on the result of the vote in the European Parliament the Italian journalist notes that the vote showed a change of mind toward Russia among EU lawmakers.

    While there is a powerful anti-Russian lobby comprising of a hundred or so MPs, apparently nostalgic of the Cold War times, this time the resolution was passed with 304 votes, while 179 legislators were against and 208 abstained from voting, Chiesa underscores.

    De facto, the number of those who did not support the controversial document exceeded the number of those who voted for it, he stresses. 

    Chiesa asks ironically whether the EU establishment would now label the French presidential candidate Francois Fillon as "a Kremlin propagandist" and a "threat" to the European sovereignty given the fact that during his interview with Radio Europe 1 Fillon urged his audience not to believe that Russia is Europe's enemy.

    Journalists in the Plenary chamber of the European Parliament (File)
    Journalists in the Plenary chamber of the European Parliament (File)

    Jugoslav Cosic of N1 news channel, CNN International's local broadcast partner and affiliate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, echoes Chiesa.

    Citing the resolution's passage de facto equating Russian media organizations to al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups' propaganda, the journalist stresses that it is highly inappropriate to paint journalists and terrorists with one and the same brush.

    "I don't think it is right to equate the work of Russian journalists (or any other media workers) and the actions of terrorist groups. I also believe it's not right to brand mass media of any country as a propaganda tool," Cosic told Sputnik.

    If a media outlet has indeed been spotted disseminating "propaganda" then the evidence needs to be presented to prove this instead of labeling all media as instruments of propaganda, he noted.

    "This greatly worries me, as we had a very negative experience of group stigmatizing here in Serbia, when NATO bombed the building of RTS channel in 1999, justifying that as 'the struggle against the Milosevic propaganda machine.' The airstrikes killed 16 of our colleagues," the journalist emphasized.

    The resolution adopted by the European Parliament claims that the Sputnik news agency, the RT channel, the Russkiy Mir foundation and the Russian Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Cultural Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) pose a threat to the European Union.

    To resist the "Russian propaganda" the document calls on the EU member states to cooperate with NATO to develop common mechanisms to counter "hybrid threats." 

    EU Parliament Adopts Resolution Equating Sputnik, RT to Daesh Propaganda (82)


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    freedom of expression, freedom of speech, censorship, media, Bombing of Yugoslavia, NATO, European Parliament, European Union, Giulietto Chiesa, Europe, United States, Russia, Yugoslavia, Serbia
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    • Angus Gallagher
      Brexiteers warned the world a thousand times over on how undemocratic the EU had become.
      In response, the British Marxist Corbynite journalists who have infiltrated Sputnik did all that was possible to support the EU and pro-EU parties like the SNP.
      Pastor Niemoller comes to mind.
    • avatar
      I see a war brewing within EU.
      EU is about to collapse and all the collaborators and their families will be executed on the streets.
      Reap what you sow.
    • avatar
      Disgusting and shameful.....more than that it simply wont work.....the truth has its own voice
    • avatar
      The Eu was founded to have a Dictator ship as a easy power to rule Europe with Usa persons !!!

      But the Usa / Gb is a world master in telling lies and the Eu is direct behind the Usa /Gb as nr. 2 !!!!
      If you tel the thru 90 % of the time if you speak people, the people will not here the lies !!!!
      But the Usa / Gb / Eu tell 90 % of the time lies !!!! There don't no what is thru any more by them self !!!! Sick very Sick !!!
    • Gary F.
      What is also relevant here is that different civilizations respond differently to the issues around. Some take on with an effort to change peoples mind, because of their fundamental thought that of importance of mental schemes. Others may strengthen their institutions or authority. Some might even promote more ceremonies to build the community. Either way, or any way, I would bet that the common underlying struggle was to find some form of modern governance which would tackle the issues of globalisation without falling back to hard core territoriality and nationalism. After all, not many want nationalist tensions back, especially in Europe.
    • NATOisEVIL
      Kalle Ivanov
      Next step from the EU will be to start burning books.

      In Sweden they are not far from that, and I guess it is spreading out to Euro-Arabia too.
    • rogertidy
      Western propagandists pretend that capitalism and freedom are inseparable. But the ruling financial and corporate elite is only interested in democracy and freedom of expression if its own narrative is not effectively challenged.

      We saw in Ukraine how little the West cares for democracy when it engineered the overthrow of a democratically elected government.

      Similarly, the growing Western hostility to Sputnik and RT shows that Western governments do not want the public to have access to alternative sources of information. There is a real danger now that they will find all manner of excuses to ban or curtail access to Russian media.
    • avatar
      Naked, politically motivated censorship. Indefensible and unenforceable. Happy to be leaving the EU.
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