The members of the Audiovisual Council voted unanimously to sanction the distributors Oguzsatlink SRL and ILK HALK TELEVIZIONU SRL from UTA Găgăuzia for not safeguarding the national audiovisual space. They rebroadcasted informative and analytical programs from television stations in the Russian Federation and Belarus, violating the provisions of Article 17 of the Audiovisual Media Services Code (CSMA). Both have been ordered to cease the broadcast of programs that breach the country's information security within 24 hours. Investigation The "Brainwashing" of Gagauzia: Who Is Protecting Russian Propaganda Channels Anticoruptie.md revealed how cable television operators in the Gagauz Autonomous Region of the Republic of Moldova freely rebroadcasted Russian TV stations airing political shows and aggressive propaganda news. This occurred despite the prohibition of programs inciting hatred, war, and discrimination, first by the decision of the Commission for Exceptional Situations in March 2022, and later by a law passed by Parliament in June of last year. Both the TV distributors and the autonomy's officials are disregarding national regulations, often justifying their actions based on local "specificities". Meanwhile, the residents of UTA Gagauz Yeri are exposed daily to Kremlin propagandists who openly promote war and Russian supremacy through their home televisions. This might explain why individuals I spoke with criticized the measures imposed by the authorities in Chisinau to curb disinformation and media manipulation, with some even lauding Vladimir Putin as their role model leader.
Oguzsatlink SRL continued rebroadcasting programs with military, informative, and informative-analytical content from television stations such as Первый канал, НТВ, Россия 1, Россия 24, МИР 24, РБК, and Belarus 24, resulting in a fine of 100,000 lei. Similarly, ILK HALK TELEVIZIONU SRL rebroadcasted programs with informative, informative-analytical, and military content from Russian stations including РБК, Россия 1, Россия 24, and Первый канал, incurring a fine of 100,000 lei. In July of this year, these distributors were also fined 50,000 lei for similar violations. They are required to legalize their activities within 10 working days.
Moreover, Oguzsatlink SRL and ILK HALK TELEVIZIONU SRL operate without authorization from Audiovisual Council, which grants the right to retransmit a range of audiovisual media services. Fines in this instance amounted to 30,000 lei each. Furthermore, both distributors were fined 19,000 lei each for such violations in the meeting held on July 6, 2023.
Additionally, ILK HALK TELEVIZIONU SRL owns and broadcasts the "Первый народный" TV station without a broadcast license and was fined 30,000 lei. It was also fined 19,000 lei for a similar violation of the law in July 2023.
The total fines imposed on the distributors today amounted to 290,000 lei.
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