An internet commenter in Latvia recently was sentenced to 7 months of suspended imprisonment and 7 months of probation for comments in YouTube justifying deportation of Latvians by Soviet regime and expresing the need to eliminate the Latvians. Man was sentenced under charges of justification of crime against humanity and evoking of national and ethnic hatred.
Last Thursday, Latvian police raided home of teacher Pāvels Jurs who operates a history resource website for children and students where they can research history topics, see presentations and find other learning aids. Police officers from the Economic Crime Bureau proceeded to search Jurs’ home and confiscate the computer he uses in his teaching job. Grounds for a raid is that Jurs uploaded a scanned copy of the high school history book to his website. Said act drew the ire of publisher and an official complaint to police earlier this year.
Jurs now faces up to 2 years jail sentence for putting up a book on the internet that publisher currently sells for the princely sum of $4.00. The police have taken down his website leaving students without access to its resources. Jurs is also prohibited to operate websites and use computer for a month.
Since the raid a meeting has taken place during which some kind of a settlement was discussed. Further meetings will take place this week but it’s now believed that the publisher will not raise any “substantive claims” against the teacher.
This video footage shows people getting arrested in Red square (Moscow, Russia) just for wearing white ribbons (as ant-Putins sign) and without any explanation from officials.
While there were ongoing protests against ACTA in whole Europe on Saturday, Latvia faced such protest on Monday (February 13). More that 300 protesters gathered at the Cabinet of Ministers. Already few days earlier Minister of Economics Daniels Pavļuts postponed ratification of agreement. Though yesterday Prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis acknowledged possibility that ACTA might be rejected.
On October 5 Latvian police detained three persons in center of capital Riga spontaneously protesting against the actions of a political party. Also three bystanders were detained as well. Read more here: http://freespeechlatvia.blogspot.com/2011/10/latvian-police-deliberately-detain.html
Journalist and host of political Latvian TV show Skats no malas (A View from The Sidelines) Kārlis Streips was fired for calling the Latvia’s Green and Farmer’s Union political party a "whores" during his show. Here is more info on that: http://freespeechlatvia.blogspot.com/2011/09/latvian-talk-show-host-booted-after-16.html
(Unfortunately I don’t know who’s author of this wonderful cartoon.)
As each year 1st May in Riga Critical mass took place. Police didn’t took the event in their hands as last year (they escorted cyclers with flashing lights) and was intolerant and rude as usual. Though men at power tried another tactics to steal the event – Riga city mayor Nils Ušakovs organized his own cycling event earlier that day so bicyclers were split between the two events. Still there were enough participants to make the mass critical.
Pictures and articles (in Latvian) from event:
An interesting piece by Al Jazeera on latvian forestery.