RIGA - A commemorative procession is being planned in Riga this Friday, March 25, to honor victims of communist genocide, Dagnija Liepina, a representative of the Latvian Association of Politically Repressed Persons (LPRA), informed LETA.
Marking 73 years since the Stalinist repressions against Latvia's citizens, LPRA is organizing a commemorative event with a solemn change of the guard ceremony and laying flowers by the Freedom Monument in the Riga center.
Before that event, which will start at 13:00, the procession will depart from the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia at 12:30. People will be able to join the procession at the Laima Clock at 12:50.
President Egils Levits and Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) are also expected to take part in the event, Liepina said. Information about the panned event has been sent out also to Saeima members, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) and Cabinet ministers, Riga City Council, National Armed Forces and foreign diplomats.
Before the procession, at 11:00, the Rev. Guntis Kalme will officiate a memorial service in the Riga St. John's Church.
On March 25th Latvia honors victims of 1949 Soviet deportations. On this day 73 years ago, 44,000 Latvians were removed from their homes and sent into exile. This became the most brutal episode in a series of deportations, with many Latvians condemned to exile in Siberia and other remote corners of the Soviet Union.