Around 100 protest participants could get penalties, police say

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Approximately 100 members of the picket against COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday could receive an administrative penalty, Chief of State Police Armands Ruks said on Latvian Radio December 14.

He explained that police have a lot of video materials which help police to recognize picket participants. They are facing penalties for violations of COVID-19 restrictions. Ruks said that administrative cases should be started within three days, and then it will be clear how many people will be penalized.

“They are not freedom fighters. They are simply violators who don't understand the consequences. We support freedom of expression, human rights. But when it crosses boundaries, when the restrictions imposed by the government are not respected, the police will be harsh,” Ruks said.

A fine has already been imposed on 31 road traffic offenders related to the protest, 13 of which are about the unauthorized use of the sound signal. It is also still being considered whether to start criminal proceedings for hitting a police officer who was regulating traffic.

The police assess both the event on Daugava bank as well as at the foot of the Freedom Monument. Organizers face a penalty of up to €5000 as legal persons.

According to the police chief, there were 400 - 500 people at the event by river Daugava. Ruks thanked those who stayed at home and had not given in to provocation.

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