Latvia to ban public events at Soviet war memorials

  • 2022-03-29
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Saeima Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee on Tuesday endorsed draft amendments to the Law on the Safety of Public Entertainment and Festivity Events that would ban public events at all Soviet war memorials.

The ban on holding public events within 200 meters of such memorials extolling the Soviet Army and its soldiers would also apply to the controversial May 9 celebrations by the Victory Monument in Pardaugava, Riga, members of the Saeima committee said.

One of the bill's objectives is to prohibit the use of symbols glorifying military aggression at public gatherings. The legislative proposal therefore calls for a ban on symbols like the letters 'Z' and 'V' which Russian forces use in the war on Ukraine. 

The bill, proposed by MPs Artuss Kaimins and Linda Medne (Conservatives), prohibits promotion and glorification of events propagating the ideologies of Nazi and Communist regimes, including the birthdays of persons representing these ideologies, war anniversaries and occupation of territories of free and independent states. 

The only exception to these restrictions will be educational, academic or artistic events that are not aimed at glorifying totalitarian regimes or justifying war crimes.

Fines for breaching provisions of the law on public events will be raised to EUR 400 for natural persons and to EUR 3,200 for legal entities.