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Freedom of expression in the Baltics: what is known about the arrest in Riga of the editor-in-chief of Sputnik-Lithuania, Marat Kasem

Date: February 3, 2023 Time: 06:17:57

Marat Kasem is a Latvian citizen, but has been living and working in Moscow for the past few years. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS host photo agency

The Russophobic regimes of the bordering states do not miss the opportunity to show their essence: from frankly rude statements against Russia and a “victorious” war with monuments, they turned to frankly dictatorial actions. For example, to the arrest of journalists.

The Latvian special services carried out a special operation to detain Marat Kasem, editor-in-chief of Sputnik-Lithuania. It became known that the journalist is accused of two crimes at the same time: violation of the sanctions regime and espionage. Of course, in favor of Russia.

The normally inert and clumsy state machine this time worked with the precision of a well-oiled mechanism: very quickly, the court decided to keep Kasem in custody, and after a while he was sent to Riga Central Prison.

Marat Kasem is a citizen of Latvia, but for the last few years he has been living and working in Moscow, he arrived in Riga at the end of December on family business.

The Russian Foreign Ministry described the journalist’s arrest as “an inhuman and vile terror of the Latvian regime against any dissent.”

– Riga has once again shown that for her values ​​of a democratic society such as media pluralism and the rights of journalists are nothing more than an empty phrase. At the same time, there are no visible limits to Latvia’s punitive practices, ”Maria Zakharova, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on her Telegram channel.

A similar opinion is shared by the general director of the Russia Today media group, Dmitry Kiselev.

“In the case of Kasem, this is clear revenge by the Baltic regimes for his work for the Russian media,” he said.

Kiselyov recalled that Kasem often spoke about the feeling of political persecution. In particular, at the public level, this was also discussed during the session at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, in which the journalist participated.

Maria Butina, a member of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, promised to address the issue of assistance to Marat Kasema.

– We’re looking for contacts. Unfortunately, such manifestations of Russophobia and persecution of our journalists are not uncommon. The Baltics are playing the first violin here, ”he said.

It is known that during the consideration of the Kasem case, the defense’s request to release the journalist on bail was denied. If the court decides that the espionage charge is justified, the editor-in-chief of Sputnik-Lithuania could face up to 20 years in prison.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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