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EU state fines citizens for celebrating WW2 victory over Hitler

Multiple Latvians have been fined for marking WW2 Victory Day online, local news outlet Delfi reported on Sunday, citing accounts of citizens affected by the penalties.

The offences date back to celebrations on May 9 and apparently involve sharing pictures on social media and leaving comments to commemorate the anniversary.

It was not immediately clear how many Latvians were affected by the fines, reaching up to €350 ($384).

According to the head of the Russian Union of Latvia, Miroslav Mitrofanov, “hundreds” of people may be involved.

  • “Naturally, we’re not aware of all the instances. Probably, hundreds of people will be fined for comments, pictures and likes related to May 9,” Mitrofanov told the outlet.

Latvia’s police have acknowledged imposing the fines, but refused to provide any explanation for their legal basis. “We will refrain from commenting on figures or providing any other information related to that,” police spokeswoman Simona Gravite told Delfi.

  • The penalties were imposed based on two articles of Latvia’s administrative code, which prohibit display of symbols used for “glorification of the Soviet totalitarian regime,” or “military aggression,” the outlet noted, citing documents it has obtained.

It was not known how exactly the fines were applied under these articles, given that such display must be made in “public spaces,” and Latvia’s laws do not define social media pages as such.

Alongside the other Baltic states, Latvia has ramped up its decades-long efforts to weed out its Soviet past amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Back in April, the country adopted legislation to prohibit “certain public events” on May 9, when Soviet-style WW2 Victory Day celebrations have traditionally been held. According to the law, Latvians are only allowed to celebrate what is known as ‘Europe Day’ on that date.

Some people however, defied the ban, with over two dozen detained on May 9 this year, and with nearly 40 administrative cases launched.

Source: RT