VILNIUS—Pinchos Fridberg, retired professor of physics and Defending History’s 2014 Person of the Year, has again stood up for human rights, going where some “human rights NGOs” seem to fear to tread.
The occasion for his intervention was the proposal by member of the Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) Kestutis Masiulis that three mainstream Russian language publications and one television channel be closed down on the grounds that they are propaganda tools for Putin and Russia.
In his Letter to the Editor in Obzor, one of the publications recommended for closure by the MP, in a European Union and NATO state, Professor Fridberg says (here in approximate translation; only the Russian original is authoritative), with his ubiquitous touch of Yiddish humor:
On the 18th of March the website of the Lithuanian parliament published a statement by member of parliament K. Masiulis, in which he asks for the closing down of all major Russian media in Lithuania. I don’t recognize accusations expressed by such phrases as “It could be”, “One might think”, “Who can deny that…?” Any accusation needs to be concrete. I would ask Mr. Masiulis to cite the specific articles [here] in Obzor, which threaten the foundations of the state. Then I will immediately become his comrade-in-arms and demand the closing down of Obzor.