Racial Discrimination – sanctioned by the Radio and Television Channels

This article has been published on 20 th of February 2003 – “The Guardian”.

Instigations to anti-Semitism, racial, religious or sexual discriminations, serious and repeated violations of both the presumption of innocence and of the right to a personal image, are all cases for which the National Council of the Audio-Visual (C.N.A) can cancel the license of any Radio or Television Channel, was decided, yesterday, at the end of the discussions between the Members of the Culture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies and the representatives of the C.N.A . The audio-visual license can also be cancelled in cases of national security endangerment or incitement to social disorder . ” This decision is not a censorship act, but a limitation of some rights in order to prevent the violation of other rights.” declared the government-appointed C.N.A representative, Dan Grigore. At the initiative of the Vice-President of the Culture Commission, Marton Arpad, the the deputies voted the modification of the Audio-Visual Law in favor of the introduction of this new article. However, the article is endowed with the enumeration of several acts which can bring grave prejudices to the public interest and which are less serious than the license cancellation: the suspension of the license only for a period of a time (from three days to one month), or between one month and three months. As an argument for this decision, there is explained why such sanctions were adopted, referring to the OTV Television Channel, which “aroused suspicious ideas, and a decision that has been interpreted as a political act of obedience of a voice from the audio-visual council.” (The Guardian – I.Moldoveanu – February 20, 2003)