Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The intimidation started a year ago!

According to some sources, the intimidation of economic analysts by the Latvian Security Police (SP) started a year ago. It is rumored that a faculty member of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSe/R), Morton Hansen, a Danish (?) citizen was questioned by the SP along with the Rector of the SSE/R, Anders Paalzow.
Hansen, a sometime blogger on economic issues on the newspaper Diena's portal, is said to have been warned not to tell anyone of the interrogation. Whether this is true or not, the economist has chosen a very low profile, a choice that should be respected.
At the same time one should keep in mind that interference by a police authority in purely academic matters and in the expression of opinion is a very serious matter. The consequences of silence are more serious than those of speaking out. After all, assuming this version is true, what could the SP have done? Expelled Hansen to... Denmark? Or staged a public trial of a foreign academic in a country that claims to be a democracy and is a member of the EU.
One more observation -- rumor or not, true or false, the recent activities of the SP cannot have taken place without the knowledge and complicity of the government and the minister of interior, Mareks Segliņš, who is in charge of the SP and other police agencies.
The Latvian government ultimate commands the SP, and one should really not blame the rampaging dogs, but rather the cryptofascists who turned them loose.

6 comments:

Silevria said...

Juri, gribeetu ar Teviim diskuteet ko, tavaa uzskataa, rietumieshi speetu dariit lietas labaa.
Dzivoju Kanadaa, plaanoju kautkad naakosho 5-10 gadu laikaa paarvietoties uz Latviju, bet pashreizeejais politiskais staavoklis tur ir nepienjemams.
silevria@hotmail.com

TRex said...

I would like to say this. The "law" being selectively enforced here was quite obviously not properly debated, for a reason. Latvia is not the only country to run afoul of this obvious error in protecting public interest over the current governments (not necessarily the State) interest. I don’t actually blame the Security Service, they were ordered to act or at least given total freedom.

Living in both Moscow and Latvia (and other places) I can say that we are having discussions there (Moscow, not in the kitchen but in the open) regarding the ruble that are apparently illegal here. Odd don’t you think?

Chilling effect is quite right. This world wide economic crisis will affect Latvia in ways not mitigated by discussions amongst individual persons. This is entirely about control of free discussion. Making free discussion not free, but subject to litigation and threat is the opposite of democracy. I am waiting for the UE to wade into this as they most obviously will, and soon.

It is against all norms of civilized discourse. Is Latvia so fragile it cannot stand the light of day like its fellow democracies?

Anonymous said...

Why do your postings say nothing about Godmanis and his role in this? Surely the state police must be taking orders from someone.

Juris Kaža said...

Anonymous,
I do say the government will have to answer for their violations of free speech. So, yes, in this way Godmanis is responsible.

Anonymous said...

Vai LTV atgriezies „horizontālais taimkods”?
http://www.tvnet.lv/zinas/intervijas/article.php?id=571036

suumcuique said...

How ironical that the whole thing happened a few days before the arrest and interrogation of Damian Green, a former journalist and now one of Britain's leading opposition politicians, by the counter-terrorism police (November 27, 2009) on "suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office".

it looks like his arrest is linked to the fact that he "had raised some uncomfortable questions for the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and his government in the past year. In November 2007, he disclosed that the Home Secretary knew as many as five thousand illegal immigrants had been granted licenses to work by the Security Industry Authority, but decided not to make the information public.

In February this year, Damian Green revealed that an illegal immigrant had been employed as a cleaner in the British Parliament and raised questions over its security implications. Then there was a letter from the Home Secretary warning that a recession could lead to an increase in crime. He confronted the British government at a time when public concern over crime was rising. The Home Office later admitted that serious crime had been underestimated in official statistics."

In other words, he had exposed things which clearly show the anti-British policy of the political schemers who are currently in office, a policy which the latter naturally must keep secret, in order to achieve their goals.

"Politicians, especially those in power, are very good at doing questionable things when there are bigger events taking place elsewhere. Damian Green’s arrest and interrogation happened when the British public was focused on the terrorist attacks in India – attacks in which there had been hundreds of casualties, including British. There were already numerous examples where anti-terror laws had been used against people who had nothing to do with terror. Journalists and researchers are under unprecedented pressure. Academics at British universities have all but surrendered to the shifting and arbitrary interpretations by the authorities of the meaning and causes of terrorism, to save their careers and to ensure funding for their projects. The picture is bleak."

http://www.prisonplanet.com/cops-seize-tory-mp-uproar-in-police-state-britain.html

Hre, the 'crime' commited by D. Green is objectively far more serious than the one committed by the Latvian academic.

The tactics, in fact, is quite simple : main democracies will distract people's attention to other democracies, smaller ones, and accuse them of all evils, in order to try to hide the presence of the same evils at home. It's particularly obvious when it comes to the issue of corruption. few days ago, the EU decided to delay Bulgaria's membership by nearly three years amid "deep concerns about their failure to crack down on organised crime".

Bulgaria, obviously, is an easy target. In the mentime, the EU is ten times more corrupt than Bulgaria. See, for instance, "EU Spending is Riddled with Corruption" (http://www.democracymovementsurrey.co.uk/dyk_waste.html)

The tactics, indeed, is very simple.