Professor retracts anti-Norway propaganda

Latvian Professor Andrejs Vilks has retracted a 2013 publication in which he repeated bizarre and explicit falsehoods about the alleged prevalence of incest and child sexual abuse within Norwegian society, it has emerged September 11.

The piece (Latvian title: Citādais, apzināmais, bet - vai pieņemamais? Tolerances robežas) appeared in a 2013 publication of the Riga Stradins University journal articles. 

"As a criminologist I wanted to draw the listeners' attention to different forms of sexual education, different means of sexual education and deviations in sexual relationships," Vilks wrote on the website of Riga Stradins University.

"I must admit that, reviewing the sources of the presentation, I would now... exclude many sources from the presentation. I admit that I made a mistake in using several information sources," he wrote.

The retraction notice will be published in the university's next volume of scientific papers, it said on September 11.

A presentation of the paper, as of September 12 still available on the website of the self-described "pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-life" Asociacija Gimene (Family Association), shows Vilks using highly dubious Russian sources, and sometimes no sources at all, to claim the normalization or legitimization of pedophilia in Norway, but also in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. 

As reported previously by LTV and LSM, Asociacija Gimene caused a storm in Norway by organizing a conference in 2013 in Riga to spread salacious falsehoods about Norway - using Norwegian grant money.

On August 6 this year Norway's Dagbladet ran a story about the conference. The story included an indignant Vilks seemingly ignoring any academic rigor by showing journalists he obtained the information via Google searches of sex-related words, and when challenged on this offered a rebuttal that might be called clumsy at best: "If this is false information, you have to prove it! It's not my task."

Norway recouped the money granted to Asociacija Gimene, which instead had to be covered by Latvian taxpayers.

As the investigative journalism organization Re:Baltica has previously pointed out, the claims made by Vilks are a staple of pro-Kremlin disinformation sources which allege Norway is a place where pedophilia is rife and 10% of the population are child-abusers. 

For what it's worth, Asociacija Gimene has not mentioned the retraction on its Twitter or Facebook feed but instead now appears busy urging MEPs not to pass the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe initiative that aims to reduce levels of violence against women. 

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