Latvia's Opposition Calls On Government To End Non-Citizen Discrimination

On Sunday the protest action For Single Latvia of the left political forces and ethnic minorities was held in Riga. The action was held by the association For Human Rights in Single Latvia in connection with the tenth anniversary of adoption of the law which divided the people of Latvia into citizens and non-citizens. On October 15, 1991 the Latvian parliament adopted a resolution On the Restoration of Rights of Citizens of the Latvian Republic and Basic Naturalisation Terms. The resolution recognises as citizens only those who had the status prior to June 17, 1940 (on this date the Baltic region was seized by the Soviet Union) and their progeny. As many as 700,000 permanent residents of Latvia who arrived here afterwards and their progeny are declared non-citizens, who are to become naturalised to gain Latvian citizenship. The process intend, among other things, Lettish language exams, knowledge of the history and basic laws of Latvia, swearing loyalty for the Latvian state. Until now a number of economic and social limitations are practised for non-citizens and they are subject to political discrimination.

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