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Latvian Saeima plans to ban the use of Soviet and Nazi Germany uniforms in public events

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Saeima, committee, ban, Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, symbols, Artuss Kaimiņš On Tuesday, 25 February, Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee supported in the third reading amendments that provide for banning the use of uniforms used by armed forces and law enforcement units of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, as well as uniform elements, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Amendments provide for banning, including in stylized form, uniforms used by armed forces and law enforcement, including uniforms of officers belonging to repressive institutions, of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The ban extends to elements of said uniforms – elements of clothes, accessories, identification marks, cockades, shoulder-straps, etc. – everything that allows people to visually identify one’s association with aforementioned organizations.

The ban also applies to flags, coats of arms and anthem, Nazi swastika, German SS icons and images, as well as Soviet symbols – hammer and sickle and five-pointed star.

Exceptions are also provided in amendments. These include cases when use of aforementioned symbols is not praising totalitarian regimes or excusing crimes committed by said regimes, and if their use is permitted by the municipal administration on the territory of which it is planned to organize public events. It is planned that when submitting applications for organization of public events, it will be necessary to mention in the application which of the aforementioned symbols it is planned to use during said events. The municipal administration, on the other hand, will have to ask the State Security Service for its opinion before reviewing public event requests.

Chairman of Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee Artuss Kaimiņš had previously stressed that the changes are supported by the State Security Service. The proposed solution is a compromise reached by Justice Ministry, Interior Affairs Ministry, State Police and other involved sides.

«People have to understand it is unacceptable to wear Soviet or Nazi Germany’s uniforms or their symbols in public events,» Kaimiņš had previously said.

It is planned that for breach of the aforementioned ban the perpetrator may be subject to a warning or fine (up to EUR 70 for private persons and up to EUR 580 for legal persons).

Currently the law provides for a ban on the use of Soviet or Nazi Germany’s uniforms, flags, anthems and other symbols associated with them during public events. The only exception is when their use is not associated with praise of totalitarian regimes or excuse of committed crimes.

The Saeima will need to review amendments in the third and final reading.


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