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Latvia Bans Rallies Near Soviet Monuments Ahead of 9 May Celebrations

© Sputnik / Evgenya Novozhenina /  / Go to the mediabankSt. George Ribbon
St. George Ribbon - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Latvian parliament banned on Thursday in the second and final reading the holding of rallies closer than 200 meters (656 feet) from Soviet war monuments.

"On Thursday, 21 April, the Saeima in the second final reading adopted amendments recognised as urgent to the law on meetings, processions, and pickets. They provide for a ban on organising rallies, processions, and pickets closer than 200 meters from any monument glorifying the victory and memory of the Soviet army or its soldiers on the territory of Latvia", the statement read.

The parliament has already adopted similar amendments to a law on the safety of mass concerts and festivals, prohibiting citizens from holding events near monuments to Soviet soldiers and demonstrating "Z" and "V" symbols, associated with the Russian military operation in Ukraine, in public space.

"As the authors note in the annotation to the bill, the same restrictions on the organisation of rallies, processions, and pickets are necessary to protect the democratic state system and limit the manifestations of ideology that pose a threat to the democratic legal system and the security of Latvia," the statement added.

© Sputnik / Sputnik / Go to the mediabank"Immortal Regiment" march, dedicated to the Victory Day in Riga, Latvia.
Immortal Regiment march, dedicated to the Victory Day in Riga, Latvia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.04.2022
"Immortal Regiment" march, dedicated to the Victory Day in Riga, Latvia.
Last November, Latvia banned the use of the St. George ribbons in public, a symbol of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. At the same time, every year on 16 March, a procession of SS legionnaires and their supporters takes place in Latvia’s capital Riga, displaying awards and symbols of the Nazis.
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