ECHR turns down Gaponenko's application against Latvia

  • 2023-06-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In its final decision regarding pro-Kremlin activist Aleksandrs Gaponenko's claim against Latvia, the European Court of Human Rights by a majority declared the application inadmissible on Thursday, as the Foreign Ministry informed LETA.

In Latvia, Gaponenko was found guilty of instigating national hatred and actions against the Latvian state, and was given a suspended jail sentence.

The case concerned the arrest in 2018 and subsequent detention of Gaponenko for various alleged criminal offences related to actions directed against national independence and incitement to hatred. He had put a series of posts on social media concerning Russo-Latvian relations in which he had spoken about, among many other topics, NATO, language policy in Latvia, and the Russian minority in Latvia, with accusations that the NATO presence in Latvia was to intimidate Russophones, and threats of nuclear war on Latvian territory.

The ECHR found there had been a "reasonable suspicion" that Gaponenko had committed offences, and that reasoning had not been arbitrary, when his remand had been ordered.

The court also held that it had not been unreasonable to place Gaponenko in remand given his attacks had been directed against the Latvian State at a time of Russian military action or control in both Georgia and Ukraine.