The Council of State of France decided to suspend the decision of the French media regulator Arcom, which refused to ban the broadcast of russian propaganda channels on the French satellite operator Eutelsat. The decision was made on December 9 following an appeal filed by the international human rights organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Earlier, Arcom rejected RSF’s request for a formal demand against Eutelsat SA, whose satellites broadcast russian propaganda channels to russia, Ukraine and the Baltic states.
The Council of State ruled that there is a “serious doubt about the legality” of Arcom’s position to recognize its jurisdiction in the case, and ordered the regulator to reexamine RSF’s request. It instructs Eutelsat to stop broadcasting the russian TV channels Rossiya 1, Perviy Kanal and NTV to russia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries among at least 15 million subscribers.
“This decision is a victory for the right to reliable news and information, and for the fight against the Kremlin’s war propaganda. We are pleased that our legal arguments prevailed against a regulator that restored to the most minimalist possible reading of the law to justify its claim to lack authority, and used all sorts of arguments, even the most obviously spurious ones, as grounds for taking no action,” said PSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire.
Currently, the organization calls on Arcom to accept the consequences of the State Council’s decision and to give Eutelsat formal notice to stop broadcasting the mentioned russian channels and urges the regulator to do everything possible to protect the European information space.