RIGA - On Wednesday, the Saeima's Defense, Interior Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee supported amendments to the Citizenship Law, which would provide a legal basis for depriving persons supporting war crimes of Latvian citizenship.
Amendments to the law are being moved forward as a matter of urgency and the Saeima will decide on the adoption of the amendments on Thursday, April 7.
The amendments proposed by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) provide for the revoking of Latvian citizenship to persons who have provided significant financial, material, propaganda, technological or other support to persons, states or other entities that have committed acts, including crimes against peace, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of democratic states or the constitutional order.
The amendments also foresee that the person does not become stateless if citizenship is revoked.
It is envisaged that before a person has his or her citizenship revoked, security institutions will first have to give its assessment of the activities of the respective person.
The decision on deprivation of citizenship should be taken by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, whose decision could be appealed in court.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had objections to the decision-making process and the appeal procedure. It suggested that the decision on deprivation of citizenship be taken by the Administrative District Court, whose decision could be appealed to the Supreme Court. The decision of the Supreme Court would be final and not subject to appeal. This was supported by the committee.