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07.02.2006   Fight against limitations of the freedom of speech and association

Press release of the political union FHRUL.


Over the past years, rights to the freedom of speech and association were respected in Latvia almost in accordance with the European standards. These rights were guaranteed and implemented by the state in its policy towards mass media and NGOs of both Latvian and Russophone communities of Latvia. Only neo-Nazi organizations with limited influence dared to question these rights.


At the present moment Latvia is in the midst of an election campaign, which is due to culminate in the parliamentary elections in autumn 2006. This campaign was commenced with the attempts to exploit the discussion over the documentary "Baltic-Style Nazism" for probing public opinion towards potential restraints on the freedom of speech and association. After the attempts to suppress Latvian NGOs have failed in the eyes of the Latvian public opinion, ruling politicians shifted their propaganda activity to the Russophone NGOs, First Baltic TV channel and other mass media by wrongfully accusing them of being financed by the authorities of the Russian Federation.


Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the anti-Russophone slogans, hate speech, and instigation of ethnic discord have been used in Latvia to justify restrictions on democracy and human rights. Our party will continue to oppose this tendency.


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