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RT France Head Announces Broadcaster’s Closure After Paris Blocks Its Accounts

Sputnik – 21.01.2023

On the air in France, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, and Mediterranean countries since 2017, RT France quickly became one of the largest alternative Francophone news broadcasters in Europe and North America. RT France was banned from broadcasting throughout the EU and Canada in early 2022 for providing a Russian perspective on the Ukraine crisis.

RT France has announced its closure after the blocking of its bank accounts in France.

“After five years of harassment, the authorities in power have achieved their goal, the closure of RT France,” the broadcaster said in a press statement tweeted out by Editor-in-Chief Xenia Fedorova on Saturday.

“Under the cover of the 9th package of sanctions against Russia, which does not target our channel, but its shareholder and parent company, the Directorate General of the Treasury decided to freeze the bank accounts of RT France, making it impossible to continue our activity,” the statement explained.

The broadcaster cited a series of recent articles and columns in French media which it said was designed to smear RT France and take it off the air.

“Clearly working with the authorities, some of our colleagues confused their role as journalists with that of policemen or judges, calling… for censorship of our media, and not hesitating to resort to false information, claiming, for example, that the activity of RT France was prohibited or illegal,” the statement said.

After an EU blanket block against Sputnik and RT in early 2022, RT France continued broadcasting online and via a Russian satellite, and its content accessed via VPN or social media.

In Saturday’s statement, the broadcaster recalled that it has been the target of forces seeking to shut it up since its launch for offering a “breath of fresh air” in an “ever-less representative and increasingly narrow media world, where critical thinking is no longer allowed.” The channel expressed pride in the “seriousness and rigor” of its coverage, and stressed its keenness to “present all opinions, give everyone a voice,” and “dare to question” – to quote its slogan.

The broadcaster emphasized that its coverage of the conflict in Ukraine – which got it banned from television broadcast in 2022, was consistently treated in a “vigilant” and “balanced way,” “whatever our detractors, who very often only rarely glanced at our channel, and obviously with a biased way, say.”

“In this particular geopolitical context, the opportunity presented itself to take advantage of this situation to (finally) gag RT France by banishing it from the European Union and from France,” despite the absence of any legal justification, the broadcaster noted.

RT France also lamented that 123 of its French employees, including 77 journalists with press cards, now risk remaining unpaid for the month of January, and losing their jobs by government decree. “Beyond the terrible economic impact for many families, there is the question of the future of media pluralism in France, its representativeness, and its independence,” as well as “the freedom of thought and expression in our society,” its statement noted.

The broadcaster emphasized that its closure, accompanied by the “deafening silence” of other French media and journalists, is an “extremely dangerous first step, because after our channel other media will be targeted.”

RT France’s bank accounts were frozen this week on the basis of European sanctions adopted last December.

The Russian Foreign Ministry warned Paris that it would retaliate unless French authorities stop “terrorizing” its journalists.

Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan blasted the move to freeze the accounts on Friday, sarcastically calling it a true demonstration of “liberte, egalite et fraternite” (liberty, equality and fraternity).

RT France appealed its 2022 ban to the European Court of Justice last spring, but lost, hearing that the broadcaster needed to be silenced “at a time when opinions were forming on the war in Ukraine.”

January 21, 2023 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. “On the air in France, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, and Mediterranean countries since 2017, RT France quickly became one of the largest alternative Francophone news broadcasters in Europe and North America”.

    Here in Australia, I found that I couldn’t view Russia Today, (and Iran’s Press TV), which is a fair indication that “OUR” ‘owners’ do not want anyone receiving News which our Rulers did NOT want us to see.

    They clearly have something to hide (hence the explosion of “Conspiracy theorists”) in The West in recent years.
    Our Rulers have been, and will continue, to LIE to us.

    Like

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | January 21, 2023 | Reply

  2. To change the settings in Brave that enable access to RT and PressTV:

    Go to Settings -> Privacy and security -> Safety -> Click on Safe DNS and select OpenDNS.

    I have a Dutch version so the wordings may differ slightly.

    Like

    Comment by Balthasar Gerards | January 22, 2023 | Reply

    • Thanks for that……I’m nearly 74 and time and computers have passed me by…….

      Like

      Comment by brianharryaustralia | January 22, 2023 | Reply


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