Seimas Ombudsman calls Parliament to avoid initiatives limiting independence of national broadcaster

The Seimas Ombudsman has called the Parliament to avoid any initiatives limiting the independence of the national broadcaster. The Seimas Ombudsman, Augustinas Normantas, has urged the Parliament to avoid the initiatives that would have a political and/or economic influence on the public broadcaster, thus violating the provisions of Article 10 of the ECtHR. Without assessing the specific proposals of the Seimas temporary investigation commission, formulated in Project No. XIIIP-2656, the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office as a national human rights institution advocates the protection of the independence of the national broadcaster.

“The right to information is a fundamental value of democracy that needs to be safeguarded. Various news in the media have a direct and indirect impact on the democratic processes of the society”, the statement reads. The Seimas Ombudsman pointed out that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania has emphasized that the Constitution guarantees and protects the public interest to be informed, that the constitutional freedom to unhindered search, receipt and dissemination of information and ideas is one of the foundations of an open, fair, sustainable civil society, a democratic state, it is an important pre-condition for the realization of various individual rights and freedoms established by the Constitution.

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