Latvia Human Rights

Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people

On 8 May the Commission on Meetings, Marches and Demonstrations of the Riga City Council authorized a Baltic Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride march organized by NGOs from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. On 13 May, however, 34 of the 60 city councillors called for the decision to be revoked, saying the march was offensive to public decency and posed a threat to public security. On 14 May the Council withdrew permission for the march, but the following day the Riga Municipal Court overturned the ban. The march went ahead on 16 May, with protection provided by the police. Counter demonstrators hurled homophobic verbal abuse.

Torture and other ill-treatment

In December, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, reporting on a visit in December 2007, expressed concern at allegations of physical illtreatment by prison officers at J?kabpils, Daugavpils and Jelgava prisons, and at C?sis Correctional Centre. The Committee criticized the authorities for not fully investigating such allegations in an impartial and independent process. The Committee further reported high levels of violence between prisoners, which the authorities failed to prevent or limit. This resulted in self-harmings by inmates seeking transfer to safer prison units.

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