No assembly within 200 meters of Soviet victory monuments

It will be prohibited to organize meetings, walks, and pickets closer than 200 meters from any Soviet army victory monument in the territory of Latvia, Saeima decided on April 21 in the final reading.

The amendments to the Law on Meetings, Processions and Pickets were supported by 63 Saeima deputies, while 16 voted against – all from the Harmony party, according to the results of the vote.

Previously, the Saeima also adopted such amendments to the Law on the Safety of Public Entertainment and Festivity Events. As the authors have noted in the annotation of the draft law, it is necessary to impose the same restrictions on the organization of meetings, processions and pickets in order to protect the democratic state and to limit such forms of ideology that are considered to be a threat to Latvia's democratic legal equipment and security.

It is prohibited to promote and glorify events containing Nazi and Communist ideologies, including birthdays of persons representing these ideologies, days of commemoration of fights and victories, days of glorifying the occupation of territories of free and independent states or parts thereof.

It is also prohibited to use symbols used in the identification of military aggression and war crimes.

“With these amendments to the law, our country not only targets war propaganda, violence, the ideology of Nazism and communism, but also expresses its solidarity with Ukraine, and condemns the aggression exercised by Russia,” the Chairman of the Legal Affairs Commission responsible for the passage of the bill, Jānis Butāns, stated previously.

The amendments also extend the right of the municipality to ban the conduct of an event, providing that it can also be banned in cases where it is established that the organization of the event will contribute to promoting Nazi and Communist ideology, war propaganda, military aggression, hatred and intolerance.

The amendments will enter into force on the day following their announcement.

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