Latvia must have zero tolerance towards inciting ethnic hate - Karins

  • 2023-10-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia must have zero tolerance against any manifestations of incitement to ethnic hatred, and possible conflicts between foreign students of Riga Stradins University (RSU) should be taken very seriously, Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) told TV3 this morning.

According to him, we live in a very peaceful society in Latvia and we should not allow "something that nobody needs" to suddenly ignite.

If it really turns out RSU students are inciting ethnic hatred, it could result not only in expulsion from the university, but also from the country, Karins stressed.

The Foreign Minister admitted that a wave of anti-Semitism and/or anti-Islam could sweep the world and Europe. At the same time, he reminded that the terrorists were Hamas, not Palestinians. "Hamas are terrorists who control part of the Palestinian territory, Gaza, and that is one very important distinction, but in the heat of emotion one can forget that distinction," the politician said.

Karins stressed that it is very important to maintain a "calm temperature" in our country, and at the moment it is succeeding, but the news about what is happening among foreign students at RSU raises concerns.

As reported, the Ministry of Education and Science will assess the situation at Riga Stradins University (RSU) regarding possible conflicts between foreign students in connection with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a tweet by the ministry.

The Ministry of Education and Science has contacted the Ministry of Health, under which RSU is a subordinate institution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior to clarify the situation and prevent it from escalating.

According to the Tvnet news portal, several RSU students from Israel have received hate texts since the start of the war in Israel. This has led to discord among RSU students. One person has contacted the State Security Service in connection with anti-Semitic expressions and threats.

Similar incidents, but less extreme, have occurred at RSU in the past, while RSU warnings to possible aggressive students about potential expulsion have not been heeded, the portal reports.

Meanwhile, the State Security Service (VDD) confirmed to LETA that the service is aware of the tensions among foreign students at RSU and is investigating the situation. The service will not comment further at this time.