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Does Not Initiate A Criminal Case For Dealing With Latvian Symbols In A BBC Film: Freedom Of Speech Also Includes Possible Exaggeration And Provocation

The Security Police (DP) has refused to initiate criminal proceedings for dealing with Latvian symbols in the BBC film “World War Three: Inside The War Room”, in which a possible Russian invasion of Latvia is played, according to the DP decision held by LETA.
A couple of weeks ago, the film, which depicted the possible Russian invasion of Latvia, caused a wide resonance. DP refers, among other things, to the statement of Ivan Str. Therefore, the action with the Latvian flag and coat of arms should not be seen in isolation from the rest of the film.
Referring also to Article 100 of the Satversme and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the DP has established that the depiction, trampling and burning of the Latvian flag and coat of arms in the film does not violate the limits of freedom of expression. The Security Authority notes that the ECtHR has emphasized that freedom of the press also includes possible exaggeration and provocation. DP also did not see the incitement to national hatred in this film.
In February, Jānis Kuzins, the editor of Gazeta PIK, asked the DP to assess whether the symbols shown in the BBC are not defamatory of Latvia’s symbols, as the film publicly destroys the Latvian national flag and coat of arms, as well as incites national hatred. Kuzin had asked DP to start criminal proceedings.
As reported, the film depicts the Russian invasion of Latvia. To support pro-Kremlin separatists, Russia has occupied 20 cities near the border. When NATO leaders cannot decide how to respond to the attack, the United States and Britain decide to send troops to fight Russian forces. Russia then responds with a nuclear attack. On the BBC’s website, the program said that former British top military and diplomatic officials were simulating a possible “hot war” in Eastern Europe, including the fight against nuclear weapons.
One of the experts invited to the show, former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of NATO forces in Europe, General Richard Shiref, said that the show would show Russia that NATO would protect the Baltic states in the event of its invasion.
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (V) has pointed out that the Baltic States have been full members of NATO for more than ten years and continue to work together with the Allies, therefore the invasion scenarios would not be allowed even in theory. According to him, the BBC program only confirms the readiness of the Allies to defend the Baltic States.
Artis Pabriks (V), a former Latvian Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs and a current member of the European Parliament (EP), has admitted that the BBC program allows us to model a possible Russian invasion of Latvia and to learn from it.

News Reporter

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