Demonstration demands accountability after woman's murder in Latvia

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On Tuesday, more than 100 people gathered outside the Cabinet of Ministers to demand action on the negligence of the responsible authorities in the murder of a woman in Jēkabpils, as well as responsibility for the reluctance of politicians to ratify the Istanbul Convention, Latvian Television reported.

Dressed in black clothing, pinned with red-colored flowers that symbolized stab wounds, and with posters in their hands, more than 100 people gathered in a protest named "Cause of death: Woman". 

Last week, a murder case from Jēkabpils struck the country where 53-year-old Leons Rusiņš allegedly stabbed his former partner in front of her mother and child, after relentlessly chasing her and her colleagues for over 1.5 years and ignoring all penalties imposed on him, including a restraining order.

The protesters said:

“Well, there's such a big shock about how such a horrible situation can occur in our country at all. It is obvious that solutions must be sought by the executive side, by the police, how could it be allowed, and at the political level by ratifying the Istanbul Convention.”

“This case, which happened in Jēkabpils, shows that the police, even when women try to get help, do nothing until there is a body, unfortunately, and that is why we are demanding the Istanbul Convention, we are demanding that there be action by the authorities responsible and that we can really all feel safe and that we should not stand here.”

“It seems like this is a moment when there is nowhere else to go, what else has to happen to follow some kind of action that really protects our people?”

According to the director of the women's support center "Marta" Iluta Lāce, the killing shows the need for effective monitoring mechanisms against perpetrators, as well as the need to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which will ensure not only the protection of women but also of all families.

Lāce stated: “We want the responsibility of certain officials to be seriously assessed, in every institution involved, knowing that this woman indeed fought for her rights for more than a year, and we want the responsible officials to ratify the Istanbul Convention, and to review the whole range of mechanisms that we have in order to build a system that really does protect women.”

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