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Russia considers Latvian journalist’s case disgraceful neglect

Moscow, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, described as "shameful" the fact that the UN Human Rights Council refuses to discuss the arrest of Sputnik journalist Marat Kasem in Latvia.

According to Zakharova, the matter of the persecution of a journalist for his professional activities, his detention, arrest, repeated interrogations should be a subject of permanent analysis at the Human Rights Council.

The 52nd session of the council will meet between February 27th and March 31st, and according to a spokesperson for the organization, they are not planning to address the human rights situation in Latvia during that period.

On January 5th, it became known that Marat Kasem, who has Latvian nationality and works as editor-in-chief of the Sputnik Lithuania agency, was arrested for allegedly evading European Union (EU) sanctions and suspicions of spying in Riga, where he returned for family reasons at the end of December.

Without mentioning the last name of the arrested person, the Latvian State Security Service clarified that the arrest of “an employee of the Rossiya Segodnya agency” took place on the 3rd in the context of a criminal proceeding “for a possible violation of the EU sanctions”.

A court ruled that the journalist remain in custody, thence was transferred to Riga Central Prison.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Latvia of breaching its international commitments on freedom of expression, protection of journalist’s rights and inviolability of rights and freedoms.