There is a deterioration of democracy in the West

Summary

RT and Sputnik are prevented from appearing in briefings and some internet software programmes are invented to automatically ban those reports deemed politically unacceptable by the authorities of the country concerned. This is a violation of OSCE obligations regarding direct access to public information […] The Russian authorities have not taken restrictive measures against foreign media.

The situation of the Russian media in the West has become difficult in recent years. The European Parliament has adopted a resolution indicating the need to confront Russian media, where Sputnik and RT were identified as major threats […] The adoption of such a document signals the apparent deterioration of ideas about democracy in Western society.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative that the Russian media is unfairly restricted, discriminated against in Europe, and that freedom of speech is restricted in certain European Union member states, while presenting Russia as respectful of media freedoms. See previous cases here.

The mentioned European Parliament resolution at no point calls for any restrictive measure in its efforts to counter anti-EU propaganda by third parties. The efforts to counter such propaganda mainly revolve around awareness-raising through campaigns, education, media and information literacy while respecting the commitments to media freedom, access to information, freedom of expression and media pluralism. The European Parliament in this resolution stressed that promoting respect for fundamental rights and freedoms should underpin the EU's action in countering propaganda.

The resolution reads: "It is essential for the EU to continue to actively promote through its external actions respect for fundamental rights and freedoms; considers that supporting freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to access information and the independence of the media in the neighbouring countries should underpin the EU’s actions in counteracting propaganda."

The freest countries in terms of press freedom are predominantly European countries, including Norway, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Estonia, Portugal, Germany, etc.

On the other hand, Russia is ranked as “not free”, according to Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press report. According to Reporters without Borders (RWB) Press Freedom Index, Russia is ranked 149th among 180 countries. 38 journalists have been murdered in Russia since 1993 for preparing investigative materials on corruption, politics and human rights violations. Almost all leading media outlets in the country are controlled by persons affiliated with the authorities or the Kremlin.

 

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 162
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Europe
  • Keywords: Russia Today (RT), Democracy, Freedom of speech, Media, The West, Sputnik
  • Outlet: Sputnik Arabic
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Strong Georgia not in the interests of the West. Georgia is governed by the US ambassador and the EU

Strong and independent Georgia is not in the interests of the West. If Georgia was truly free we would not have to listen to and obey neither the US ambassador nor the EU.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Georgia's relations with the EU and US, which aims to undermine Georgia's sovereignty. See an earlier case: The US and the EU govern Georgia.

The EU and Georgia  enjoy an excellent relationship. Relations are based on the EU Georgia Association Agreement including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which entered into force in July 2016 and strives for political association and economic integration. The EU is Georgia's largest trading partner and provides over 120 mln. EUR annually in grant assistance. Since 2017, more that 300 000 Georgian citizens benefited from the visa-free regime with the EU.

Sex education imposed by the UN causes impotence, early sex lives, teenage pregnancy and homosexuality

The Georgian Ministry of Education signed an agreement with three different UN committees according to which human rights, gender equality, healthy life and reproductive health (a.k.a sex education) will be taught in schools. Psychologists warn us that sex education at an early age leads to earlier sex lives, abortions, impotence, and teenage pregnancy. In addition, it causes a decline in intellect and creative skills as well as to a psychological inability to engage in marital life and inclination to homosexuality.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western values suggesting that the international institutions try to demoralise and morally corrupt Georgians.

There is no scientific evidence that proves the causal relationship between sex education and impotence, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality or early sex lives.

Russia respects human and civil rights: police to illegal gatherings like in any other country

Russia respects human and civil rights. Russian police are responding to illegal gatherings the same as other countries in similar cases. Those who break the law have to take responsibility for that.

 


                            
Disproof

The protests in Moscow started in July after the election committee banned opposition candidates from running for the elections to the city council - the Moscow City Duma, disqualifying their ballots because of what officials claimed were irregularities in the 5,000 signatures each had to gather to run. The protesters also demanded the right to fair elections and the right to free assembly. Professional media reports that Moscow citizens have been peacefully protesting in the streets, and the state has responded with unprecedented repression.

According to the EU, detentions of peaceful demonstrators, disproportionate use of force, police raids against opposition politicians seriously undermine the fundamental freedoms of expression, association and assembly. These fundamental rights are enshrined in the Russian constitution. The EU also urged the Russian authorities to respect Russia’s OSCE commitments and other international obligations when conducting the upcoming local elections