Cameraman detained for littering at demo

A citizens’ protest on behalf of a Russian-held Ukrainian pilot at the Russian Embassy dispersed peacefully Monday afternoon, but not before State Police (VP) officers arrested a cameraman filming the event for the commercial television channel TV3. The arrest prompted outrage over possibly inappropriate actions taken by the law enforcement officers against a representative of the media, and VP chief Ints Ķuzis expressed his doubts over the officers’ professionalism to national information agency LETA Tuesday.

After viewing the video materials of Monday’s peaceful demonstration across from the Russian Embassy building in Riga, which assembled about 50 people, Chief Ķuzis told a press conference an internal investigation would be launched to assess the actions taken.

“The policemen’s action was not appropriate to the situation and an internal investigation has been launched to determine all aspects of this case. I would hope such situations would no longer be possible in the future. These were workers who don’t have daily experience supervising mass events, just regular security guard experience,” he added.

TV3 cameraman Sergejs Medvedevs said the officers held him and tried to take him away from the protest scene for refusing to stop filming and pick up anti-Putin flyers strewn about the street. He was later released from the police precinct after an administrative case was filed against him, however without providing further documentation.

The Latvian Journalists' Association as well as Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma also condemned the arrest of the cameraman as “unacceptable” and also called for an investigation into possible police misconduct.

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