19:28 GMT04 July 2020
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    EU Parliament Adopts Resolution Equating Sputnik, RT to Daesh Propaganda (82)
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    Sputnik news agency has addressed international organizations, including the UN, UNESCO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Reporters Without Borders to seek support against restrictions to media freedom in the European Union, seeking to halt the operations of Russian media outlets such as Sputnik and RT in Europe.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution on countering Russian media outlets, such as the Sputnik news agency and the RT broadcaster. As many as 304 parliamentarians voted in favor the document, 179 voted against and 208 abstained. As many as 691 officials took part in the vote, meaning less than half supported the resolution.

    The resolution proposed by EU parliamentarian from Poland Anna Elzbieta Fotyga drew parallel between Russian strategic communication and the propaganda disseminated by Daesh terrorist group. The document calls for extra European Commission funding for counter-propaganda projects.

    A BLOW STRICKEN AGAINST MEDIA

    Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan sent a letter to organizations for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Reporters Without Borders to seek support against restrictions to media freedom in the European Union.

    "The resolution directly attacks a number of reputable media sources, including Sputnik, and aims to prevent them from operating within the EU. Worse still, the motion directly contravenes the EU’s own rules on human rights and media freedom such as Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 11 of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, and an EU Resolution made on 11 December 2012 aimed at developing a Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign Policy," Simonyan said in her letter.

    The letter was also sent to the European Federation of Journalists, the Index on Censorship and the Committee to Protect Journalists, among others.

    PREVENT CENSORSHIP

    The European Parliament resolution seeking to counteract Russian media outlets is a direct violation of media freedom and human rights, the Sputnik press service said.

    "Sputnik called on the EU to prevent state censorship. This EU resolution is a direct violation of media freedom and human rights. As such, we have contacted a number of European and American organizations such as the UN, UNESCO, OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe], Reporters without Borders, and many media groups and trade unions to call for solidarity against this egregious kind of discrimination and censorship. We urge the international media community, of which Sputnik is a proud member, to not stay silent on this important issue and to join us to secure the values of freedom and democracy," the press service said.

    Sputnik (sputniknews.com) is a news agency and radio network with multimedia news hubs in dozens of countries. Sputnik broadcasts through its websites in over 30 languages, as well as on analogue and digital radio, mobile apps, and social media. Sputnik newswires, available by subscription, 24/7 in English, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.

    DEMONSTRATION OF WEAKNESS

    Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov commented on the resolution before it was passed.

    "This whole issue is discrimination, blatant discrimination against the rights of Russian media," Dolgov said, as broadcast on RT.

    According to the official, Russia will continue bringing up the issue attempts of other countries trying to ban its media outlets because "this is discrimination, a clear violation of international norms."

    "The authors of such initiatives are afraid of the very effective work of Russian media, news outlets, including RT," he said, adding that "weakness is always the reason behind an intention to ban something."

    NOT EVERYONE IN FAVOR OF RESOLUTION

    The resolution was not supported by everyone in the parliament itself. French member of the European Parliament Aymeric Chauprade expressed hope that there would be enough lawmakers against it to make sure it was not passed. According to him, the document disregards anti-Russian propaganda by foreign media.

    "I think that information is a market just like others, and different points of view can be present there," Chauprade said.

    The French lawmaker added that Russia is an important international actor and it should be such on the world information market.

    Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, another French lawmaker, thought that the authors ought to be ashamed for comparing Russia to Daesh. In his opinion, US propaganda should also be a cause for concern.

    Spain's Javier Couso believes that it is irresponsible to amount alleged threats from Russia with those from Daesh.

    Couso pointed out that the document did not mention the role of the US propaganda on legitimizing recent military invasions that resulted in chaos and the internal EU propaganda that allows only one interpretation of democracy, which can be regarded as a sign of supremacy.

    Along with some other lawmakers, Couso demands recognizing Russia as a key partner and a global actor of the European Union in the sphere of international security and joint countering the Islamic State as well as demands lifting anti-Russian sanctions.

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

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