Non-citizen leader asks Duma for legal aid

Aleksandrs Gapoņenko announced Thursday that the Non-Citizens’ Congress of Latvia has pleaded with the Duma of the Russian Federation to provide legal support “in the fight against the courts.”

“It’s essential that we get help in our fight with the judicial authorities. We can make noise and scream all we want, but we need legal help,” said Gapoņenko, addressing the Russian Parliament’s roundtable discussion dedicated to the issue of non-citizens’ problems in Estonia and Latvia.

“We would be pleased to accept your assistance,” said the leader of Latvia’s non-citizens’ organization to the Duma’s Foreign Affairs committee chairman Aleksey Pushkov.

On his part Pushkov announced that Europe’s institutions are ignoring the non-citizen issue because “the liberal doctrine of judicial rights” is “deeply depraved,” reported Russia’s news agency TASS.

Deputies and experts gathered at the roundtable and adopted a resolution calling for the parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Parliament to do something about the “unacceptable violations of the rights” of Estonia’s and Latvia’s non-citizens.

Europe's Commissar for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks last November dismissed the notion that the Baltic states were discriminating against the diminishing non-citizens' communities there.

LSM published a historical overview of the naturalization process available to Latvia's non-citizens for the last two decades.

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