Latvija in brief - 2008-04-03

  • 2008-04-03
The Justice Ministry's Prison Administration division has filed a claim against Innovative System Developers Group N.V., a Belgium based company, for failing to successfully implement mobile-phone jamming devices in Latvia's prisons. The government had signed a contract with the company worth more than 1 million euros in which the company was to block cell-phone traffic in numerous prisons throughout Latvia. Upon testing, however, it was found that calls from major Latvian operators could still go through from some places. The Prison Administration is now asking for 76 percent of the sum paid so far plus damages, amounting to a total of 868,737 euros.

A woman whose baby was kidnapped 16 years ago will now have the opportunity to see her child again. The boy was discovered when his 'foster' mother was arrested on separate charges and a judge had to decide on wardship for the 16-year-old. The judge's suspicions were aroused by the lack of official identification papers, which caused her to remember the 1992 kidnapping case which had since been closed. A DNA test was run on the boy confirming that he was the kidnapped child. The boy will now get to choose whether to live with his biological mother, stay with his abductor or have the state appoint a ward for him. Psychologists are preparing the boy for the news, while no date has yet been set for a reunion with his mother.

Protesters have organized four pickets outside of the Chinese Embassy this April. Two of the pickets will protest violence in Tibet while the other two will highlight oppression against the Falun Gong spiritual practice in China. The largest of the pickets, a protest in support of Tibet scheduled to take place on April 10, is expected to draw hundreds of participants. On March 14, hundreds of people took to the streets in Tibet to protest Chinese rule in the country. The protests quickly turned violent and were, in turn, violently oppressed. Falun Gong is spiritual movement that unites Buddhism and Eastern philosophies of truth, virtue and patience and has tens of millions of followers in China. It has been outlawed in China since 1999.