- Activists announced aims of the Congress of Non-citizens
Vesti Segodnya reports that initiators of the Congress of Non-citizens announced its aims. The Congress plans to protect legal, political and economic interests of non-citizens and to establish a parliament of non-citizens. At maximum, the Congress wants to achieve full elimination of a large-scale non-citizenship in Latvia. The initiators of the Congress also call Latvian residents who agree that non-citizenship is a problem to register on the home page of the Congress. Up to now, there are about 1,300 persons who already registered.
- Latvian Human Rights Committee celebrates its 20th anniversary
- “Latgolys Saeima” criticizes proposal to establish autonomy of Latgale
Vesti Segodnya reports about 20th anniversary of the Latvian Human Rights Committee. One of the main activity of the NGO is provision of legal aid in social issues and issues concerning non-citizens and Russian speaking residents. The NGO also prepares reports on human rights and ethnic minority situation in Latvia.
A Latgalian NGO “Latgolys Saeima” made a statement publicly criticizing a proposal of an organisation “For Native Language” and its leader Vladimirs Lindermans to make Latgale region (Eastern part of Latvia) autonomic. According to the head of the “Latgolys Saeima”, such idea is harmful not only to Latvian state but also to Latgalians. The NGO also called to the government of Latvia to grant real support to the Latgale region strengthening its economy and Latgalian identity. Latvijas Avize
- Vladimirs Buzajevs: transition of 60% of subjects in minority schools to instruction in the state language has worsened Latvian language proficiency
- About 2,500 – 3,000 Latvian residents took Russian citizenship in 2012
- Call for opponents of the Concord Centre living outside of Riga before the municipal elections
- Conference about autonomy of Latgale
- Russia’s human rights report criticizes Latvia
Vesti Segodnya prints an interview with ex-MP, activist of the Latvian Human Rights Committee Vladimirs Buzajevs who conducts a research about language policy inLatvia. In particular, Mr Buzajevs researches the impact of the language policy on the results of exams of students of minority schools and their state language proficiency. Mr Buzajevs is convinced that the examination results of minority schools graduates show that introduction of bilingual education system worsened Latvian language proficiency of students. Mr Buzajevs also highlights the results of exam in Latvian language which became common to students of Latvian language and minority schools in 2012, and claims that results of minority schools graduates dropped several times comparing to previous years.
According to the Russia’s Ambassador to Latvia Aleksandr Veshnyakov, about 2,500 – 3,000 Latvian residents took Russian citizenship in 2012. The Ambassador believes Latvian residents choose to take Russian citizenship due to social – economic situation in Latvia and to the fact the retirement age in Russia is lower than in Latvia. Vesti Segodnya
Vesti Segodnya reports that anonymous activists distribute trough social networks a call to the opponents of the Concord Centre who live in other areas of Latvia to register their residence in Riga in order to receive the right to vote in Riga in the forthcoming municipal elections. This, according to the activists, should “save” Riga from the Concord Centre.
Latvijas Avize reports about a conference devoted to the idea of autonomy of Latgale region (Easter region ofLatvia) held by the organisation “For Native Langauge.” The authors of the idea believe that autonomy of Latgale would strengthen self-determination of Latgalians and bring economic benefit to the region.
The Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its report about human rights in the EU. The report criticizes Latviafor issues regarding rights of non-citizens and Russian speaking residents. It also criticizes procession commemorating Latvian Waffen SS legionnaires in the centre of Riga. Latvijas Avize
- Security Police searched the homes of the activists of “For Native Language”
- OCMA blames political speculations for the decreased interest in naturalisation
Newspapers report that the Security Police has searched the homes of the activists of an organisation “For Native Language” Vladimirs Lindermans, Illarions Girs and other activists. According to the Security Police, the searches are connected to the criminal proceedings on organised activities aimed at undermining territorial integrity of Latvia. The activists of the organisation recently made several statements that Latgale region (eastern part of Latvia.) should be given the status of autonomy. Chas, Vesti Segodnya
The officials of the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office (OCMA) allege that the political speculations around promises to grant Russian language status of a state language in Latvia and citizenship to non-citizens automatically are the reasons for low rate of naturalisation. The MP from the Concord Centre Andrejs Klementjevs, in his turn, believes that the problem is caused by the ignorant attitude of the authorities towards the non-citizens. Mr Klementjevs believes the state does nothing in order to show that these people are important for the country. Neatkariga
- President’s Advisory Committee on Ethnic Minorities proposed to introduce the Day of Tolerance
- Court decision allows writing of patronyms in passports
Latvijas Avize reports about a meeting of the President’s Advisory Committee on Ethnic Minorities. Members of the Committee discussed expressions of tolerance and intolerance in the society. The President Andris Berzins supported one of the proposal mentioned during the meeting to introduce the Day of Tolerance in Latvia on 16 November.
Vesti Segodnya reports about a decision of the Administrative Court of Riga District regarding writing of patronyms in passports. Claim to the court was submitted by an ethnic Russian who was refused by the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office to write his patronymic in row with name and surname in passport. The applicant referred to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities arguing that a patronym is a part of his Russian name historically. The court acknowledged that original form of Russian personal name contain three parts – name, patronym and surname – and its transliteration in Latin letters should be written in passport fully after person’s will. Latvian legislation allows the transliteration of original of non-Latvian names on a separate page in passports.