On Thursday, 31 March, the Saeima adopted in the second and final reading urgent amendments to the Law on the Safety of Public Entertainment and Festivity Events. The amendments impose a ban on symbols used to signal military aggression and war crimes, except in cases where the goal is not the justification or glorification of such crimes.
Artuss Kaimiņš, Chair of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee, which is responsible for advancing the Draft Law in the Saeima, had previously stated: “As we condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, we must send a strong signal that the symbols glorifying Russian military aggression, such as the letters ‘Z’ or ‘V,’ or other symbols used for this goal, have no place in public events.”
The Law also provides that the glorification of the Nazi and communist regimes is prohibited during public events; this includes celebrating the birthdays of the representatives of these ideologies, battle and victory commemoration days, and the occupation of free and independent state territories or parts of such states. The Law provides an exception for events the goal of which is not related to the glorification of totalitarian regimes or justification of their crimes, as well if the mentioned symbols are used for educational, scientific, or artistic purposes.
The amendments also establish that event organisers shall not be issued a permit to organise an event if the planned event is held within 200 metres from any monument within the territory of Latvia that glorifies the victory and commemorates the Soviet army and its troops.
There is also an increased fine for the violation of the determined procedures for the organisation and carrying out of public entertainment and festivity events: a warning or a fine of up to 80 units of fine (or 400 euros) shall be imposed on a natural person, whereas a fine of up to 640 units of fine (or 3200 euros) shall be imposed on a legal person.
Saeima Press Service