The Latvian Security Police have ended a criminal investigation against the musician Valters Frīdenbergs for allegedly destabilizing the Latvian financial system by comments joking made at a concert in November 2008. No formal charges have been filed.
According to the LETA news agency, the criminal investigation against Ventspils University College lecturer Dmitrijs Smirnovs continues, and he is still banned from leaving the country. Smirnovs was arrested in Ventspils, brought to Riga and detained for questioning for two days in November following publication of a report in a newspaper of a public discussion where he said that people should not keep their money in Latvian banks and in the Latvian currency, the lat.
The farcical investigation against Frīdenbergs has ended, but the case of Dmitrijs Smirnovs, a blatant violation of free speech, must not be forgotten. The chilling effect of what was done to him by Latvia's Neo-KGB still affects him and others intimidated by the actions of the Security Police.
People should keep up the pressure and express their continued outrage that the criminal investigation continues against the Ventspils academic. E-mail your protests to firstname.lastname@example.org.