The Case of Aleksandr Gaponenko: Why Latvian Adherants of Nazism Want To Jail Me

Latvian Prosecutor’s Office: Aristotle? No, we haven’t heard about this

On October 15th, a regular hearing was held concerning the process “Latvia against human rights defender A. Gaponenko. At this hearing, a representative of the Latvian Prosecutor’s Office charged me with inciting ethnic hatred by expressing my own opinion in the media and demanded that I be punished with a year in prison.

The Prosecutor’s Office has put forward two points against me. First: I scolded the Legionnaires of the Latvian Waffen SS Legion and thereby insulted the Latvian people. Second: I scolded the American tanks that were placed in Riga and thus aroused hatred for the American people.
At the previous hearing I analysed my statements for the court, using the techniques of formal logic that Aristotle developed 2,500 years ago and that lawyers have been using in their work for 2,000 years.

The subject of the statements was fascists, and the predicate was bad people in the first case. The Prosecutor’s Office said that since I mentioned that the Legion was Latvian, I humiliated all Latvians. Thus, the Prosecutor’s Office identified all Latvians with the Nazis. The Prosecutor did not know the logical law that does not allow making a conclusion about a large parcel from a small parcel. It turned out that fascism should not be scolded at all, because it would cause emotional trauma to the Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Italians, Romanians, and Bulgarians who established this order in their country and for a decade and a half killed people in the name of establishing the rule of the higher race over the lower.

In the second case, the subject of the statement was tanks, and the predicate was that they threaten the ethnic minorities of Latvia. The Prosecutor’s Office deduced from these statements that I was insulting the American people. The mentioned logical law was once again mercilessly violated by the Prosecutor. “Who is Aristotle? Did you submit his writings in the state language to the court? In this case, the reference to it has no legal force”. This is what the Prosecutor’s Office said in the accusation.

The fact that fascism was condemned by the International Military Tribunal (IMT) in Nuremberg is also not an argument for the Latvian Prosecutor’s Office. It has its own logic and values. Where do these values come from? From the “National Unity” party, whose top leaders “ordered” me first to the Security Police, and then to the Prosecutor’s Office. Moreover, they ordered this not only for political reasons, but also for personal reasons. The applicant G. Bērziņš lost the position of Minister of Justice, and the applicant E. Cilinskis lost the post of Minister of Regional Development as a result of me criticising them, along with other anti-fascists, for participating in the March 16th marches in Riga, for promoting fascist views. How can we not take advantage of this opportunity and settle the score with the “evil” critic with the help of Security Forces controlled by nationalist radicals?

In the desire of nationalist radicals to take revenge on me, the process has reached the point of complete absurdity. Thus, the Prosecutor’s Office noted that the resolution of the European Parliament condemning the March 16th March in Riga as the glorification of Nazism has no legal force, since it was adopted in 2018, three years after the criminal case was initiated against me. So, until 2018, it was possible to heroise the Waffen SS troops, their crimes were not considered crimes, and the decisions of the IMT have no legal force? So the UN resolutions condemning the glorification of Nazism that have been adopted every year for the past 20 years don’t matter? So, the international conventions that Latvia has signed on the prevention of genocide and on the condemnation of racism aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on? All these “papers” do not take into account the specifics of the situation in Latvia, as the country’s representatives wrote in response to my complaint to the ECHR.

I can write a lot of sad things about the last court hearing, but I will focus on a fun episode.

At the court hearing the day before last, I mentioned that, unfortunately, my forecast was realised and a US militaryman urinated at the Freedom Monument and insulted the symbol of Latvian statehood, which I was afraid of five years ago. The Prosecutor at this meeting objected to this, since the US militaryman was not in uniform and was not on duty. The logic of the judgment is as follows: if you are not in uniform and not on duty, you can safely urinate on the symbol of the Latvian statehood. “Really, who is Aristotle? Is he registered in the list of forensic experts?”

Rejecting the cultural values developed by the world civilisation, rejecting the values of the democratic structure of society, “National Unity” destroys Latvian statehood. Will the judicial system be able to resist this destructive activity of nationalist radicals? We will find out about this in the near future, since only my last word and sentencing are ahead.

Aleksandr Gaponenko

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