The Lithuanian parliament recently decided to vote down amendments proposed by the president aimed at cracking down on hostile propaganda. It is disappointing, says the president's chief legal adviser Rasa Svetikaitė, since the Constitution does not provide for freedom standards for disinformation and "brainwashing".
Rasa Svetikaitė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"For those who justify propaganda and disinformation by saying that the proposed bans are characteristic of totalitarian states where dictatorship prevails, I would like to remind them what our main law, i.e., the Constitution, says and it says that the freedom to express convictions and spread information is incompatible with criminal actions. And the Constitution considers the incitement of discrimination, defamation and disinformation to be criminal acts. The freedom of information standards obviously cannot apply to disinformation, propaganda and brainwashing," the presidential adviser told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Tuesday.

In her words, the Seimas decision last week to vote down the amendments to the Law of Provision of Information, proposed by the president and stating that at least 90 percent of television programs rebroadcast in Lithuania should be in the official languages of the European Union, "is surprising and disappointing to say the least". She also added that "we want to believe that it was a mere mistake and coincidence".

"We can only draw a conclusion that Lithuania's information space is not protected or poorly protected from propaganda and disinformation and is under an aggressive attack. Procrastination to take effective security measures is acting against the state," Svetikaitė said.

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