ANRTS & ATDM: Prolonged Moratoriums Incompatible with Freedom of Speech

5. novembra 2019 13:31
Bratislava, November 5 (TASR) - The Association of Independent Radio and Television Stations (ANRTS) and the Association of Print and Digital Media (ATDM) consider the extension of a ban on publishing results of relevant public opinion polls from 14 days to 50 days an inadmissible and disproportionate intervention in freedom of speech and a manifestation of misuse of political power, reads their joint statement provided to TASR on Tuesday. "MPs didn"t restrict their rights by this ban, they"ll have access to the results of opinion polls. This restricts the right of the media to inform their audience about the results of opinion polls and it especially restricts the general public"s right [to be informed]," they state. "Silencing the traditional media, which can be severely fined for infringing this obligation, gives space to conspiracies, which can spread any untrue information on the polls, which in the end will affect voters," the associations added. "We consider it unacceptable that the media can"t carry out their essential function: to provide up-to-date and objective information. It makes it even more unacceptable that this information concerns elections, which should be based on democratic principles and can"t lead to an undemocratic regime and practices," reads the statement. The associations called on political authorities to prevent the measure from entering into force. The ban was okayed in Parliament on October 28. It should concern the 2020 general election. zel/mcs
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