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‘Free People, Free Media’: Poles Protest Against Media Law | World News

WARSAW (Reuters) – Protesters who gathered in a number of cities on Sunday urged Poland’s president to veto a media legislation they and different critics say goals to restrict media freedoms within the European Union’s largest japanese member.

Unexpectedly rushed by parliament on Friday, the laws would tighten guidelines round overseas possession of media, particularly affecting the flexibility of reports channel TVN24, owned by U.S. media firm Discovery Inc, to function.

The invoice, which has but to be signed into legislation by President Andrzej Duda, has soured relations between NATO-member state Poland and the United States.

It has additionally fuelled wider fears about assaults on media freedoms which have been operating excessive since state-run oil firm PKN Orlen mentioned final yr it was taking up a German-owned writer of regional newspapers.

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“At this second we’re speaking about TVN, however it isn’t nearly TVN,” senator Bogdan Klich, a member of the biggest opposition occasion Civic Platform, instructed a crowd in Krakow.

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“It’s about the way forward for free speech in Poland, about the way forward for our democracy.”

Police mentioned round 800 individuals took half within the protest within the southern metropolis. Organisers put the determine at 5,000-8,000.

Pictures from Klich’s Twitter account confirmed demonstrators brandishing placards with slogans together with “Free People, Free Media” and “Poland For All”.

As of 1550 GMT, a petition in help of TVN24 had gathered extra that 800,000 signatures, the channel mentioned.

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Smaller protests had been held in a number of different cities, with bigger protests, together with one outdoors the presidential palace in Warsaw, scheduled for 1800 GMT.

The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) occasion has lengthy mentioned that overseas media teams have an excessive amount of energy within the nation and deform public debate.

Critics say the strikes in opposition to overseas media teams are a part of an more and more authoritarian agenda that has put Warsaw at loggerheads with Brussels over LGBT rights and judicial reforms.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; modifying by John Stonestreet)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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