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Russian community in Latvia says banning Russian TV violates constitution

April 16, 2014, 15:42 UTC+3 RIGA

The head of Latvia's Russian community, Valery Kravtsov, says the ban is aimed particularly at discriminating against Russians in Latvia

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© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan

RIGA, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Latvia's broadcasting authority has banned Russia's RTR television channel for three months.

The head of the nation's Russian community, Valery Kravtsov, described the National Electronic Media Council decision as a violation of constitutional freedom of expression.

“The community considers such actions as a violation of the legal rights of a European democratic country’s citizens, the right for free access to information in particular. We also believe that this ban is aimed particularly at discriminating against Russians in Latvia”, he said on Wednesday, adding that the Ukrainian crisis would be resolved and that Russians and Latvians would have to coexist in a single state.

Residents of a rational democratic society had the right independently to choose programs to watch, books to read and ideas to have, Kravtsov said. “We do not understand why we, honest taxpayers who have already paid for our broadcasting services, were so dishonestly cheated.”

The country’s electronic media council voted last week to cease transmitting RTR, claiming it had spread military propaganda. Russian activists have challenged the ban in a Riga court.

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