Danish ambassador summoned to Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On 10 February, Danish Ambassador Flemming Stender was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Secretary of State Andris Pelšs where he was presented with a "démarche" - a diplomatic term used to denote a formal representation of one government's official position, views, or wishes on a given subject to the envoy of another government.

The démarche was presented in connection with the planned extradition of the Latvian national, Kristine Misāne, to the Republic of South Africa (RSA) from custody in Denmark.

"Latvia has repeatedly requested that this citizen of Latvia not be extradited before all legal procedures have been completed. We urge Danish authorities to await the session of the Danish district court scheduled to be held this coming Friday, 14 February," said an account of the meeting from the ministry.

The strongly-worded release continued:

"Latvia would like to convey its lack of comprehension concerning Denmark’s objectives in extraditing a citizen of the European Union to a third country where human rights violations have been noted on an international scale. This extradition is especially difficult to understand given Latvia’s repeated communications with Denmark requesting that Kristīne Misāne not be extradited, with these communications taking place both through diplomatic channels, as well as on the political level. At the current time, taking into account that Ms. Misāne has begun a hunger strike, we call upon Denmark to pay particular attention to the condition of her health, so as to avoid a serious deterioration."

The account did not specify exactly which human rights violations it was referring to with regard to South Africa which, like Denmark and Latvia, is a democratic state with an independent judicial system.

"We call on Denmark to act in accordance with the high human rights standards that are of equal importance to both Latvia and Denmark," it added.

As previously reported by LSM, Misāne is wanted in South Africa for trial on charges of kidnapping, document forgery and other offences. There was recently a small demonstration outside the Danish embassy in connection with the case. 

As reported by LSM on February 3, Latvia's Justice Ministry has nevertheless been drawing up a cooperation agreement with South Africa regarding the case. 

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