Anti-Gay Protest Countering Baltic Pride Might Have Been Illegal – Riga Police

Investigation is opened by State Police



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■  Police keep a watchful eye on the anti-gay protest and march in Riga on Saturday.  It has subsequently been revealed that the protest was held without permission and could have been illegal.
Photo: UK Gay News

RIGA, May 19, 2009    The anti-gay rally and march staged on Saturday at the same time as Baltic Gay Pride could have been illegal, police revealed yesterday.

Latvian State police said they have launched an ‘administrative investigation’,  into the counter-march which they indicated had been organised by religious groups and nationalists.

“An administrative investigation can take up to four months and during this time the police will analyse all the evidence gathered relating to the case in order to decide which persons and under which article should be administratively charged,” Latvian State Police press spokesman Aigars Bērziņš told the LETA news agency.

Superintendent Ints Ķuzis hinted on Saturday that there could well be an investigation, explaining that those protest demonstration against Baltic Pride was “unsanctioned and without a proper authorisation from the relevant authorities”.

Supt. Ķuzis told LETA that counter-demonstration “seemed to have been organised since people had brought with them banners which had been made beforehand and that they were led by someone without permission from the relevant authorities”.

According to the intelligence available to the police, the counter-demonstration was organised by supporters of the religious sect New Generation Church led by Russian émigré Alexei Ledyaev, LETA reported.

Under Latvian law, up to four months is allowed for an ‘administrative investigation’.  If after that time there is insufficient evidence admissible in court against an individual or individuals, the case is closed.


Almost 600 March in Riga’s Peaceful Gay Pride Just under 600 people took part in the first Baltic Pride march staged yesterday in the Latvian capital.  There were no problems – and no reported arrests.  (UK Gay News, May 17, 2009)

Baltic Gay Pride in Riga - Four pages of photographs (UK Gay News, May 16, 2009)

Danish Ambassador Praises Latvian Courts at Baltic Gay Pride Reception The legal system in Latvia has proved today that the rule of law is well established – and that the human rights of everybody are – and must be – respected, the Danish Ambassador, Uffe Wolffhechel, said this evening.  (UK Gay News, May 15, 2009)

Judge OKs Baltic Gay Pride in Riga in Eleventh Hour Court Decision.  The Baltic Pride march tomorrow lunchtime will go ahead, a top judge at Riga Administrative Court ruled today, less the 24 hours before the march in Vērmaņdārzs Park and surrounding streets is due to take place (UK Gay News, May 15, 2009)

Gay Pride in Riga on Saturday in Doubt as City Council Calls Extraordinary Meeting.  Baltic Gay Pride in Riga this weekend is in doubt, it emerged this afternoon.  Pressure from local city councillors has resulted in the City’s committee on demonstrations and pickets announcing that they will reconvene tomorrow (May 14) to reconsider the matter.  (UK Gay News, May 13, 2009)

Majority of Riga City Council Members Call for Ban of Saturday’s Gay Pride Parade More than half of the members of the Rīga City Council – 34 in all – signed a letter yesterday to the executive director of the city, Andris Grīnbergs, calling on him to cancel permission that was given to hold the Baltic Gay Pride Parade in Vērmaņdārzs Park on Saturday.  (UK Gay News, May 13, 2009)

Riga City Council Gives OK to Gay Pride March.  A Riga City Council committee has today approved the march in the city centre during Baltic Gay Pride, officially known a Baltic Friendship Days.  The march is scheduled for Saturday May 16 at Vermanes Darzs park, the location of the first officially approved parade in 2007.  (UK Gay News, May 8, 2009)








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Posted: 19 May 2009 at 15:00 (UK time)


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