LGL Protests against Censorship in Lithuania
On 2 October the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) staged a protest against censorship in Lithuania as European officials gathered to attend an informal meeting of the European Union’s Ministers for Culture and Audiovisual Affairs. Lithuania currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of Europe. The LGL expressed its opposition to restrictions on freedom of expression imposed by the Lithuanian Law on the Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information. The LGL claims the law imposes limits on what LGBT* rights group are permitted to promote in the public media.
According to the LGL, there have been more instances recently when Lithuanian television channels and internet news portals have limited information about homosexuality, sexual identity and family diversity, classifying such information] as detrimental to minors. On the contrary, hate speech voiced publicly by politicians has not attracted the attention of media watchdogs.
Paid video advertisements prepared by the LGL in advance of the Baltic PrideMarch for Equality in July of this year were deemed by journalism ethics experts to be harmful material under the Detrimental Effects law. While private television channels aired the ads without restraint, state-run Lithuanian Television and Radio limited broadcasts to late evening hours.
The pictures from the event could be seen here.
The LGL has the possibility to appeal against the decision by the Inspector of Journalist Ethics before the national courts by 23 October 2013.