Latvian court hands out 10-month suspended jail time to Soviet occupation denier

Riga skyline.
Riga skyline. Source: Milan Zmátlo / Unsplash

A Latvian court has imposed a 10-month prison term in suspended sentence on a politician who had authored a social media post which appeared to deny the occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union.

Aleksandrs Filejs, 34, a board member of the Latvian Russian Union political party, was issued the sentence by Riga City Court together with a one-year probationary period, in relation to a social media post from June 17, 2019.

June 17 is Occupation of the Latvian Republic Day, while the public glorification, denial, minimizing and/or justification of crimes against Latvia and its inhabitants committed by the Soviet Union can be punishable by a jail term of up to five years, and/or a fine.

Latvia's State Security Service, the VDD, stated that Filejs had chosen historical events when making his post, and interpreted these arbitrarily, in the process effectively denying the fact of the occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union from June 17, 1940, and of interpreting this tragic outcome as one favorable for Latvia and its people.

The above ruling is a summary judgment and can be appealed within a 10-day period.

The Latvian Russian Union holds no seats at the Saeima, the Latvian parliament, though it does hold three seats on Riga city council and has one MEP as well.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: BNS

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