I use the following language deliberately, to make a point:
Aleksandrs Mirskis, a fuckwit asshole Member of The European Parliament from the Harmony Center party alliance (who are, actually, not a bunch of fuckwits, although one could differ with them on many issues) has filed criminal libel charges against former Diena journalist Gunta Sloga for comparing him to Baron Munchhausen in an article in Diena's Saturday magazine supplement Sestdiena.
In response to this hypersensitive cryptofascist's complaint, a court in Jurmala has filed charges against Sloga, the alternative internet publication CitaDiena (www.citadiena.lv) reports in an opinion column by former Diena commentator Aivars Ozoliņš
The charges were filed under an Soviet-relic article of Latvian law that the Saeima has been agonizing trying to change in line with European Union press freedom and free speech standards.
Being under this kind of criminal charges, as Ozoliņš points out, can cause all kinds of hassles (the court can impose restrictions on travel or change of residence) and have a serious chilling effect on press freedom in Latvia. Which is exactly the point with these kinds of laws.
I started this blog a year ago because the NeoKGB Latvian Security Police arrested and detained for two days Dmitrijs Smirnovs, a college lecturer in economics, for published remarks abou the banking system and the Latvian lat. Smirnovs had the investigation against him terminated. When will these idiotic charges against Sloga be dropped? Until then, while I have serious reservations about violent protest, sign me up for a paving stone through the window of some institution of authority in this country. And write on the stone, regarding these articles of Latvian law, a quote from Rage Against The Machine -- Fuck You, I won't do what you tell me!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
One of my colleagues, a senior reporter at LETA, the Latvian news agency, described a bizarre incident in which she was at the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, covering the government budget process as pertains to cultural institutions, specifically state-supported theaters and the National Opera.
A parliamentary committee spokesman made a presentation of this part of the budget, but refused to give it to reporters. My colleague obtained a copy from a Saeima deputy, who was entitled to have it and who proceeded, together with the reporter, to make a copy for her. The committee chairman then proceeded to try to wrest the document away from both of them, declaring that he would never let the press have it.
My colleague and the parliametarian then proceeded to go to another copying machine and got her copy. It was a bizarre and disgraceful incident and an affront to the media and the public's right to know, especially when it comes to how their tax money is to be spent.