RAMP President Anatoly Kapustin: Kasem’s Indictment Aims To “Whitewash” Latvia’s Measures To Restrict Free Speech KXan 36 Daily News
“This is a provocation, an illegal activity, our country must come out forcefully in defense of the rights of a journalist,” he said in an interview with RIA Novosti. – If a journalist is detained for espionage, then, as a rule, everyone immediately understands that this is a clearly provoked and far-fetched accusation to cover up the impropriety, the illegality of these actions to restrict the freedom of journalistic activity. Nothing can justify this.
According to him, the absurdity is obvious here, and “nothing funnier can be imagined”: a person arrives in his country, and accused of espionage, they try to meddle in his main activities as a journalist.
“This can only happen in countries that are trying in every possible way to spoil relations with Russia,” Kapustin added. – One can only feel sorry for Latvia that they understand freedom of information, the expression of opinions in this way, that a far-fetched pretext of espionage is enough to restrict them.
He recalled that Latvian courts, especially in the last decades, make decisions for political reasons. And in this sense, Russia needs to support Kasem.
– I think that we should support our colleague in every possible way. Even as a citizen of Latvia, he can apply to the European Court of Human Rights. The Russian Federation must openly state that this provocation is aimed at restricting freedom of speech, free speech and other freedoms that are elements of a journalist’s professional activities, the lawyer noted.
He also believes that we should “bow our heads to this man who understands that his activities anger the Latvian authorities, but who nevertheless continues to do so.”
– If we have a journalistic award, it should be nominated for bravery in conducting your professional affairs. If there is no such prize, then it should have been established a long time ago. This would be a beautiful step in counterbalance to all the attacks that Russian journalists have been subjected to over the past decade, – the expert emphasized.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that Kasem’s detention in Latvia is revenge by dictatorial regimes for their adherence to principle and constitutes terror against dissent. Russian ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova called the arrest of Sputnik Lithuania’s editor-in-chief an attack on freedom of expression and appealed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The head of the Union of Journalists of Russia, Vladimir Solovyov, commenting on the situation, told RIA Novosti that the Union of Journalists considers this to be one of the most serious violations and will send information about what is happening to all organizations. international human rights journalists.
Marat Kasem is a citizen of Latvia. For several years he has been living and working in Moscow at the Rossiya Segodnya media group, which also includes Sputnik Lithuania. On December 30, the journalist came to Latvia for family reasons. According to Sputnik Lithuania, he was arrested and on January 5, the Riga court detained him. The journalist has already been transferred to Riga Central Prison.