Latvia: All March 16 Rallies Banned

The Economist's Edward Lucas writes that “for once, the anniversary of a wartime battle in Latvia should pass off peacefully” on March 16. Juris Kaža of Free Speech Emergency in Latvia reports on the ban on “all marches and gatherings at the Freedom Monument on March 16, the day that the Latvian Legion, formed under German occupation in 1943, is commemorated.” In a comment posted on Lucas’ blog, Kaža adds: “But there is a big row building. The supporters of the Legionnaires are angry about the ban […], the nationalists of varying intensity are angry, the ‘anti-fascists’ are not pleased (they, too, are banned) and supporters of the freedom of speech and assembly, such as myself are angry, too.”

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