Dear Mr President, Dear Mrs Prime Minister,
We are addressing you as the guarantors of constitutional rights and freedoms in the Republic of Latvia.
We are concerned and troubled by the campaign launched by the Security Police in order to discredit the antifascist movement in Latvia.
Latvian press continuously publishes statements of Security Police officials describing our movement as a threat to Latvian statehood, misrepresenting our true aims and ascribing actions to our movement that we never even thought about.
For example, the 2013 Security Police report describes many events held by antifascists in a negative light.
Indeed, we do object and protest the glorification of Latvian Waffen SS veterans at the Freedom Monument, in the alley of Latvian national flags. However, do you believe that true Latvian heroes are the soldiers who fought in the Nazi army and thus, directly or indirectly, voluntarily or involuntary, supported the Nazi regime and executed many thousands of Latvians?
We object the so-called "patriotism lessons" conducted by Visu Latvijai party activists in schools and nurseries, where young men in Waffen SS uniforms and weapons of Nazi Germany teach children about "true patriotism".
We do not consider worthy of a democratic state the construction of memorials perpetuating the "military glory" of the auxiliary police and Waffen SS legionnaires under clearly nationalist slogans immortalised in stone – "Latvia must be a state of Latvians".
These are the issues we discuss in our gatherings that frighten the Security Police so much.
At the same time, we are seriously troubled by the acquittal of a neo-Nazi A. Jordans, who openly called for the murder of Jews and Roma, as well as the refusal of the Security Police to open criminal investigation into U. Freimanis, who called for the murder of Jews live on TV5. Security Police found nothing reprehensible in these statements.
We are outraged by the behaviour of some members of parliament, who demonstratively destroyed the photographs of Latvian ghetto and concentration camp prisoners during the March 16th procession. We were even more surprised by the decision of the Parliamentary Ethics Commission, which found nothing objectionable in the behaviour of Latvian MPs.
We protest against the Latvian musical play "Cukurs, Herberts Cukurs", which justifies the actions of the Arajs team officer, responsible for the deaths of thousands of Latvian Jews.
We are outraged by the unsubstantiated insinuations of the Security Police, which claims that Latvian antifascists were somehow involved in campaigning in favour of the annexation of Crimea.
Latvian antifascists participated in the peacekeeping round table, held in Kiev on 4th of February 2014, the main subject of which was to warn of the dangers of revival and rehabilitation of nationalist movements under Stepan Bandera's symbols. This conference was also attended by two former Ukrainian Presidents, who did not leave slamming the door, as the Latvian media reports, but sincerely thanked the hosts for an opportunity to participate.
Former President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk is a member of presidium of the international human rights movement World Without Nazism and heads its Ukrainian branch.
World Nazism Movement holds a regular monitoring of neo-Nazi manifestations and their social causes in 18 European countries. Results of the monitoring are then used to create an annual analytical review published in three languages. The review clearly indicates that almost no country in Europe is free of neo-Nazi groups and neo-Nazi manifestations. The aim of our monitoring is not to accuse heads of states, but to draw attention to an acute problem in their countries. Nevertheless, here we were also accused of conducting Kremlin's policy, despite the fact that this review dedicates around 100 pages to manifestations of neo-Nazism in Russia. Not a single country in Europe has treated this publication as hostile, except for Latvian Security Service, which did not even bother to look through the book before accusing its authors.
In light of the above, we humbly ask you to answer the question that worries us the most: Do you view the activities of Latvian antifascist organisations as extremist and hostile to Latvia?
If you believe that this is the case, we ask you to start criminal prosecution on each individual account, in accordance to the Criminal Code of the Latvian Republic.
If you do not consider our activities as hostile, we kindly ask you to encourage the leadership of the Security Police to apologise for spreading false information about our movement.
Coordinator of Latvia Without Nazism movement Joseph Koren
Chairman of the Latvian Antifascist Committee Eduard Goncharov
Chairman of the Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee Aleksei Sharipov