With a marketing campaign to “dehumanize” journalists, Latvia is sending a sign that freedom of speech and human rights don’t belong to those that work with Russian media, Alla Berezovskaya, a prosecuted journalist, advised RT.
As a contract journalist, Berezovskaya has for years collaborated with Baltnews – an area personal information portal based by her colleague, veteran Latvian journalist Andrey Yakovlev. And she continued to take action after he transferred management of the outlet to Russian media group Rossiya Segodnya. In late December, Latvia opened a case in opposition to seven journalists working for 2 Russia-linked retailers – Baltnews and Sputnik. Berezovskaya is one in every of them, going through expenses over the supposed violation of EU sanctions. The journalist may now face a tremendous, and even imprisonment, if discovered responsible.
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Latvian authorities have “launched a real persecution campaign against journalists [working with] the Russian media,” Berezovskaya advised RT. “We are living in a free country and have a right to publish [our stories] wherever we deem necessary,” she mentioned, including that no authority had declared Baltnews’ actions unlawful. Riga maintains the journalists violated EU sanctions in opposition to Dmitry Kiselyov, the top of the Rossiya Segodnya media group. Kiselyov is beneath private sanctions, however Latvia apparently sees it as a purpose for a blanket ban on any cooperation along with his media group. The journalist additionally notes that the angle in direction of anybody working with the Russian media in Latvia is kind of hostile, each among the many authorities and the media. Not a single Latvian journalist mentioned a phrase in our protection. One native discuss present merely brushed them off as “not journalists but Kremlin propagandists” in gentle of the costs, she mentioned. It is a few type of dehumanization. They wish to … ship a sign to the world that those that work for … the official Russian media aren’t journalists however propagandists, and thus [concepts of] democracy, freedom of speech, and human rights aren’t relevant to them.Berezovskaya was stunned to be concerned in sanctions that didn’t apply to her, including that she had greater than sufficient factors of competition with the Latvian authorities. “I take a very stern stance when it comes to [closing] Russian-language schools in Latvia, non-citizens …,” the journalist mentioned, referring to a few of the authorities insurance policies she opposes. Despite having a large Russian-speaking minority, Latvian authorities have for years sought to make the nationwide training system Latvian-language-only, going through staunch opposition from Russophones. ‘Non-citizen’ is a standing given to largely former Soviet residents residing in Latvia when it gained independence from the us.
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‘Non-citizens’ don’t have any different citizenship however nonetheless can not get pleasure from full rights in Latvia, as since 1991 the standing of a citizen there was reserved for both ethnic Latvians and Livonians or those that obtained their training in Latvian. Now, greater than 200,000 ‘non-citizens’ (accounting for 10 p.c of the inhabitants) nonetheless can not train a proper to vote, amongst different issues, since they haven’t gone by means of the “naturalization” process particularly reserved for them. She additionally notes that Latvian politicians and public figures overtly specific their extraordinarily xenophobic views on Russians, however that regulation enforcement merely turns a blind eye to such incidents. Back in 2017, a Latvian MP, Edvins Snore, referred to as Russians “lice” which are actually exhausting to do away with in one in every of his articles. In one other incident relationship again to 2018, a now-late Latvian writer, Didzis Sedlenieks, referred to Russians and Russian-speaking individuals as beings of the “lowest possible intellectual level,” who represent “a genetic deviation from universal human norms.” “These beings have nothing of value, including human life,” he wrote in a Facebook put up. Yet, in each circumstances, Latvian regulation enforcement concluded that no crime had been dedicated, in keeping with Berezovskaya, saying that there exists freedom of speech.
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