Critics say the law not only restricts media freedom but also weakens Poland’s relationship with the United States.
Polish on Wednesday, a lower house of parliament passed an amendment to the Broadcasting Act that would tighten the activities of foreign-owned media in the country. According to the news agency Reuters.
Critics say the law seeks to silence the TVN24 news channel owned by U.S. media group Discovery. Opposition politicians have condemned the bill as an attack on media freedoms.
“Today’s vote is an attack on freedom and an attack on non-governmental media,” wrote on Twitter Grzegorz Schetyna, a member of the Citizens’ Forum of the largest opposition party.
The law was passed by 228 votes to 216, with 10 abstentions. Next, it will go to the upper house of Parliament, the Senate.
Opposition according to the law not only restricts media freedom but also weakens Poland’s relations with the United States.
The United States has warned, according to Reuters, that if TV24’s license is not renewed, future US investment in Poland could be jeopardized.
The news channel’s license is about to expire at the end of September.
According to Reuters, the United States is closely following the regulation of the Polish media. The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday that Poland has an opportunity to show that it is operating in accordance with the values that unite the United States and Poland.
“The Polish government now has the opportunity to show in action, not just in words, that it supports the values that bind the United States and Poland,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Ned Price said at a news conference.
Price added that some of the top officials in the State Department have been discussing the legislation with Polish officials recently.