Russia's Foreign Ministry Accuses Latvian Authorities Of "caveman Russophobia"

The verdict a Riga court brought in on April 30 sentencing three Russian citizens to different terms in prison for "terrorism" is another confirmation that in certain political circles of Latvia sympathy for home-bred fascists is accompanied by caveman Russophobia. Such a declaration was made Friday by the press and information department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian foreign-policy establishment recalls that last November these young people, members of the local National Bolshevik Party /NBP/, occupied the observation site of the St.Peter cathedral in Riga and produced a hand grenade, which later proved to be dummy. In this eccentric manner they tried to draw public attention to the issue of persecution of antifascist veterans in Latvia. This was undoubtedly hooliganism, but "Latvian justice has decided to display demonstrative cruelty with regard to young Russians and ranked their actions as 'terrorism'", reads the statement. Simultaneously, the Latvian justice was not particularly principled when it considered the 1999 case of blasting the monument to the liberators of Riga from Hitlerites. Nine members of the Latvian neonazi organisation were sentenced to only probational or brief terms of imprisonment, which were later reduced by the supreme court. A comparison of these two trials is an illustration of the present practice in Latvia when, in order to suit political situation, hooligans are converted into terrorists and punished with severe convictions and real terrorists are only "mildly reproached", says the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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