Latvian Groups to protest oppression in Belarus

  • 2006-02-14
  • TBT Staff
RIGA 's Latvian organizations have joined an international campaign to support the opposition movement in its neighbor Belarus, the great holdout of the communist era which many human rights organizations have labeled Europe's last dictatorship.

On Feb. 16, a Solidarity Day event concerning presidential elections in Belarus will be held in Riga, according to Atverta Baltkrievija (Open Belarus), one of the organizations.

Other organizations include the Latvian Youth Council, the Latvian Transatlantic Organization (LATO) and LATO Youth Club.

Latvian parliament foreign committee chairwoman Vaira Paegle, Soros Foundation Latvia deputy executive director Peteris Vinkelis and Open Belarus board chairman Ieva Kupce are scheduled to speak at the event.

Following the event, participants will march to the Belarus embassy in Riga to ignite a flame to symbolize their solidarity with the Belarus opposition.

The day's events will mostly concern protests against oppression under the rule of President Alexander Lukashenko and to show solidarity with families of what are believed to be disappeared Belarussian reporters, politicians and businesspeople.

Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, German and American organizations are also participating in the day's events in other parts of the world.