Thursday, January 14, 2010

Russian TV host fined, Latvian protestor arrested

My day job is taking up a lot of energy and time, so I have not updated this blog for a while even though there have been events demanding comment.
The first, already in December, was the imposition of a LVL 1000 (more than USD 2000) fine on Andrej Mamikin, a TV host and journalist for the predominantly Russian-language TV5 television channel. Mamikin was accused before the National Radio and Television Council (an oversight agency) of inciting ethnic hatred and demeaning the (Latvian) nation during a broadcast on Latvia's independence day on November 18.
Mamikin, who has said he tried to invited but was turned down by several other historians, had Igors Gusevs, a historian as a guest and presented a series of viewer call-in questions, including the answer that Latvia's 1918 declaration of independence was " a fateful mistake."
Mamikin says the fine violates his freedom of expression and his freedom to question as a journalist.
The other incident, on January 13, involves the arrest of Gints Gaiķēns, a man who started the ongoing so-called " tent village" protest in front of Latvia's government house, the Cabinet of Ministers. č.attempted to use a "sky lift" to raise himself to face the office of the vice-mayor of Riga, Ainārs Šlesers and display a protest placard. Even before the skylift, placed near Riga's City Hall (city council building), Gaiķēns was forcible taken away by municipal police who didn't give a legal basis for his arrest. He protested that his right to free speech had been violated.
Gaiķēns intended to challenge Šlesers election campaign promise to create 50 000 new jobs in Riga.


TRex said...

Gints should have just used a bunch of helium filled balloons with his placards affixed. Rolling a man lift up to the window is bound to get security a little tense.

Eso Antons said...

Don't you think that LTV1 tonight interviewing old ladies selling contraband cigarettes with the police in tow is like what the Gestapo or NKVD might do? I wanted to kick (symbolically) the young lady reporter in the ass.

What a target for black market investigation! Clear case of "vajasana" (terrorization) by the media.