Rīga City Council calls to examine views of 'Maidan' exhibition organizers

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The Riga City Council has called on the Security Police to assess the public statements made by organizers of The People of Maidan open-air photo exhibition on Ukraine in downtown Riga, the council told BNS. The news follows LSM's Thursday story about the conflicting background and dodgy ties of Sergey Melnikoff, one of the people behind the exhibition.

Riga city executive director Juris Radzevics on Friday will ask the Security Police to assess the organizers' statements about the Russian-speaking population of Latvia.

The organizers have spread a video through social networks, that one of the goals of the exhibition is to teach the Baltic nations to get rid of their occupants, "sending back the 300,000 Russian-speaking people loaded in cattle trains", the Riga City Council noted.

As LSM's Russian-language website found out, the domain of the hate-speech website that contained the materials in question was registered by Sergey Melnikoff, as suggested by whois records available publicly. The website is hosted in Latvia by the Nano IT LLC company, and the phone contact for the domain is a Latvian number, reported Rus.lsm.lv.

The Security Police will also be asked to assess use of the flag of Ukrainian far-right organization, the Right Sector, during the event.

"It is clear that use of this flag causes very negative emotions among a part of Rigans. It does not promote understanding and tolerance," said Radzevics.

The executive director will ask the police to give its opinion on the true goals of the organizers and the author of the exhibition as well as to assess the possible threat to the public order and security during this exhibition.

In line with the law, the municipality may not ban a public event, unless the Security Police has pointed out at a threat to public security.

The Riga City Council earlier authorized the public event organized by the Latvia Renaissance Foundation, The People of Maidan open-air photo exhibition is held between October 5 and October 25, on Brivibas Street across the Cabinet of Ministers building.

The Cabinet Office told LSM that it had no role in the exhibition or its location right outside the building as that came within the remit of Riga City Council. According to Melnikoff himself, the Foreign Ministry obtained the necessary permits from Riga City Council. 

Several days ago two people vandalized the exhibition and both have been detained by the police. Another person was detained by the exhibition for hooliganism on Thursday evening.

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