Broadcasting ban for Deutsche Welle: “This is a really aggressive act”

Status: 04.02.2022 1:24 p.m

The Russian action against Deutsche Welle continues to meet with sharp criticism in Germany. The government calls the step unfounded and appeals to Moscow. Minister of State for Culture Roth speaks of an “aggressive act”.

The federal government has condemned Russia’s broadcasting ban on the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW). The measures are completely unfounded, said deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Büchner. “We urgently appeal to the Russian side not to abuse the broadcaster RT’s licensing problems to restrict freedom of the press and freedom of expression.”

The Minister of State for Culture and Media, Claudia Roth, also criticized sharply. “It’s a really aggressive act,” said the Greens politician ARD morning magazine. “But we don’t need aggressive acts, we need dialogue, we need de-escalation and not escalation.” The procedure is an expression of a major crisis.

“This is an aggressive act,” Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and the Media

Morning magazine, February 4th, 2022

Response to decision on RT

On Thursday, Russia issued a broadcast ban to the German foreign broadcaster. In addition, the Russian Foreign Ministry ordered the closure of the DW correspondent’s office in Moscow and the withdrawal of journalists’ accreditations. This was Russia’s response to a broadcast ban on German-language TV programs by its state broadcaster RT, which the German media regulators announced on Wednesday. They cited the lack of a broadcasting license for Germany as the reason.

Roth emphasized that such a decision in Germany would be taken by the media authorities and independently of the federal government. “That would apply to a US broadcaster as well as to a Russian broadcaster.” She criticized RT DE for not having applied for a license in the first place. The Foreign Office also rejected any comparison and warned of renewed strain on German-Russian relations.

Kühnert: “This is political arbitrariness”

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert said about the broadcast ban for Deutsche Welle that the decision was completely out of thin air. “This is political arbitrariness that is being used there.” Once again, freedom of the press is being restricted in a completely impermissible manner – “and that in a country where, unfortunately, freedom of the press is not particularly far off anyway.” He assumes that Chancellor Olaf Scholz will address the issue during his planned visit to Moscow, said Kühnert.

“A serious violation of freedom of the press”

Deutsche Welle is the international broadcaster of the Federal Republic of Germany, it makes programs in 30 languages ​​and has its headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia. The prime minister of the federal state, Hendrik Wüst, also condemned Russia’s actions against the broadcaster. This is a “serious violation of press freedom and unacceptable,” said the CDU politician.

The director of Deutsche Welle, Peter Limbourg, said the broadcaster would be made into a pawn – in a way that the media only have to experience in autocracies. He announced legal action to take action against the ban on broadcasting and the ban on employees working.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has meanwhile said that Moscow is ready to react accordingly to a “normalization” on the part of the Federal Republic.

Aggressive act: Political reaction to DW ban in Russia

Angela Tesch, ARD Berlin, 4.2.2022 · 12:30 p.m.

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