Court cancels penalty on LTV's broadcast testing Covid immunity

By a judgment of January 8 this year, Riga Regional Court revoked the punishment imposed by the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) on Latvian Television (LTV) for the March 29, 2021 show "Forbidden Method“ testing Covid vaccines.

The judgment states that LTV did not infringe the provisions relied on by it and complied with the obligation to provide neutral and precise information and that the information provided in the broadcast was true and as precise and neutral as was possible at that time. As soon as the judgment, which is not subject to appeal, enters into force, the administrative infringement procedure has been closed, annulling the decision of the NEPLP to impose a fine of EUR 4,000 on LTV.

"The judgment in this case will become an important part of the legalities governing the media sector, creating a common understanding of how the principle of proper precision and neutrality laid down in the provisions must be translated unequivocally. It is not permissible for the media to be held accountable for expressing an unpleasant opinion or using unusual journalistic methods,” said Ivars Priede, chairman of LTV's board of directors.

The purpose of the March 29, 2021 broadcast was to dig in and find out how, when you get ill with or vaccinated against Covid-19, antibodies build up in the human body, how long they can last, how long a person will be protected and not get sick, how often they will need to get vaccinated.

In order to obtain further information and to prepare observations for discussion with experts, during the investigative journalism operation, 25 people underwent an antibody test -- an in-depth but not scientific study on the formation of immunity in the human body.

The Court's judgment confirmed that the facts relating to the level of antibodies (following a full vaccination course with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and after receiving the first dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine) were accurately presented in the various age groups chosen by the creators of the program in the content and extent available during the broadcast.

The judgment shall not be subject to appeal and the administrative infringement proceedings shall be terminated.

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