Latvian Activist and Russian Student Detained for Opposing Fascism in Baltics

On February 6, the Riga City Court detained Tatiana Andriets, a 22-year-old activist of the Latvian Russian Union party, accused of actions “against the national security” of the Baltic Republic and ties with the “Anti-Fascists of the Baltic” Telegram channel, as her lawyer, Imma Yansone, said. 

Picture: ENews, Argumenti

Andriets, a student at St. Petersburg State University, came to Latvia for holidays at the end of January. On the night of February 7, her mother’s flat was searched, and the girl herself was detained.

“The activist, along with other Latvians currently living in Russia, is suspected of assisting the aggressor state of Russia in actions directed against the Republic of Latvia within the framework of the criminal process initiated on November 28, 2022,” the State Security Service (VDD) of Latvia claimed.

The activist was charged under two articles of the Criminal Code of Latvia: 81.1 (“Assistance to a foreign State in activities directed against the Republic of Latvia”) and 84 (“Violation of sanctions established by the UN Security Council”), fontanka reports.

According to the intelligence service, Andriets is allegedly one of the administrators of the Telegram channel “Anti-Fascists of the Baltic States”, in which “Russia, its political regime, foreign policy, and aggression against Ukraine are constantly glorified.” The VDD considers the channel’s goal to influence public opinion and decision-making processes in Latvia.

The activist does not admit her guilt and plans to appeal the court’s decision on arrest, her lawyer Yanson said. The “Anti-Fascists of the Baltic States” deny any connection with Andriets. The co-chairman of the party, Miroslav Mitrofanov, is not aware whether the activist can be associated with this channel.

“Tatiana has been assigned a preventive measure in the form of detention for 2 months. Our activists were at the courthouse today to support a friend, but the meeting was held remotely,” the party added.

Last year, the girl was detained with MEP Tatiana Zhdanok for participating in an unauthorized rally against the demolition of the monument to the liberators of Riga in the city of Pardaugava, but was released.

"Andriets came at her own risk from St. Petersburg, where she studies, to Latvia. To settle questions about studying, where she also studied. And to solve the issues with the police as for the August case, when she was detained at the monument to the Liberators of Riga, which was being demolished at that time. So that the police would not think that she was running away from the investigation. Over the past year, Tanya already had 5 records. All are political.

I asked Tanya not to go to Latvia, but she was sure that there was nothing to put her in jail for. She didn't feel any guilt about herself. Moreover, she wrote to me the other day that she called the State Police herself and said that she would come for a conversation. When in August she was detained on the approach to the demolished monument to the Liberators, they reported that she was allegedly being investigated for distributing leaflets calling for the overthrow of the government. At the same time, her phone was seized. 

"It's okay - I'll go and give evidence. So that they don't think that I'm evading the investigation. Maybe also the phone will be returned," Tanya jokingly told me the other day. They won't return it.

Moreover, the staff of the State Security Service seized her new phone from her during the search that night. And at the same time her mom's phone, all computers, and flash drives."

These are the words of Aleksey Stefanov, a special correspondent of the Rossiya Segodnya media group, who writes about the news of the Baltic countries.

"She didn't admit any guilt for herself. On Wednesday, by agreement with the investigator, she had to appear at the state police to give explanations in connection with the events of May 10 at the monument to the Liberators. But last night she suddenly disappeared from all radars. The Gestapo is not asleep... Has the turn reached the children?" asked the Latvian journalist and activist, Alla Berezovskaya, in her social networks.

Teachers and students of St. Petersburg State University, where the girl studies, expressed their readiness to provide legal and any other assistance to Andriets.

“The detained student of St. Petersburg State University, Tatiana Andriets, is a member of the anti-fascist movement. The expression of protest against the liquidation of the Soviet memorial heritage, the protection of the memory of the people about the victory over fascism, complies with the legislation of the Russian Federation. The staff and students of St. Petersburg State University have already expressed their readiness to provide legal and any other assistance that the St. Petersburg State University student will need,” said Yuri Penov, Vice-Rector for Legal Affairs.

Ru-Main, 09.02.2023
Source: RuBaltic 

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