Court reject protest ban appeals

  • 2009-03-13
  • from wire reports

RIGA 's A district court has rejected appeals to the Riga City Councildecision to ban all demonstrations in the city center on March 16, the date forcommemoration of the Latvian Waffen SS unit or the so-called LatvianLegionnaires, who fought on the side of Nazi Germany during World War II.

On March 13 the court rejected an application was filed by theDaugavas Vanagi, a patriotic organization founded by exiled Latvians afterWorld War II, from holding an event on March 16. Later that same day, the courtalso rejected an appeal for a counter march from the left-wing alliance ForHuman Rights in United Latvia.

The Riga City Council committee for review of applications for organizingrallies, pickets and processions resolved on March 9 to ban holding of anydemonstrations at the Freedom Monument, one of Latvia's national symbols, onMarch 16.

Several organizations with conflicting ideologies had applied for themunicipal authorization to hold events at the Freedom Monument on March 16.