State Security Service probing numerous hate speech incidents

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Latvia's State Security Service (VDD) has initiated nineteen criminal proceedings and taken over four more criminal proceedings from the State Police (VP) in connection with hate speech, the VDD said June 10. 

Most of the criminal proceedings involve calls for use of aggressive force against Ukraine and its people involving the public glorification and justification of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and actions aimed at inciting national hatred or discord.

In one of the criminal proceedings for inciting national hatred or discord, the VDD has concluded a pre-trial investigation and sent the materials of the criminal proceedings to the prosecutor's office, prompting the person to be prosecuted. The person came to the attention of the VDD after publishing a comment on an article on the Internet praising and wishing Russia success in destroying Ukrainians.

In the other 22 criminal proceedings, 15 persons are currently in the status of a suspect, while seven persons are in the status of a person against whom criminal proceedings have been initiated. Two suspects were remanded in custody as a precautionary measure.  

The VDD said it is continuing to investigate several other cases. The VDD is one of the three Latvian security and intelligence services, along with the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) and Defense Intelligence and Security Service (MIDD).

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