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Media - Poland: Tens of thousands protest the new broadcasting law

Media – Poland: Tens of thousands protest the new broadcasting law

Warsaw (dpa) – Tens of thousands protested Poland’s new broadcasting law on Sunday. From the critics’ point of view, it could restrict press freedom. In Warsaw, protesters gathered in front of the presidential palace.

They carried posters with slogans such as “Free media, free people, free Poland” and “We have the right to know the truth.” There were also protests in Gdansk, Szczecin, Pozna, Kraków and many other cities. Police and organizers did not give the exact number of participants.

Parliament passed the revised law on Friday. The decision is now up to President Andrzej Duda. He indicated that he could object to the law. In the future, broadcasting licenses will only be allowed to be issued to foreigners if they have their headquarters or residence in the European Economic Area. In addition, the licensee must not rely on a person whose principal place of business is located or resides outside of it.

According to critics, the law targets the private TVN channel, which is part of the US Discovery Group through a holding company registered in the Netherlands. The TVN24 news channel is taking a decisive line against the ruling Law and Justice party.

The law was also opposed by the US government. The State Department in Washington said it was “deeply concerned” about the provisions that “undermine freedom of expression, impair press freedom, and undermine foreign investors’ confidence in their property rights.” The United States encouraged Duda to defend the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211219-99-445839 / 2