06.05.2005 Euro Parliament to hear of Latvian discrimination
The European Parliament's Petitions' Committee will tomorrow (Tuesday) hear petitions highlighting the discrimination faced by the Russian minority in
Led by Euro-MP Tatjana Zdanoka, the petitioners will tell European legislators about the discrimination against some 450,000 Russian speakers living in
The so-called 'aliens' or 'non-citizens' form up to 20% of the total population of
Euro-MPs will hear the case of Jurijs Petropavlovskis, a Latvian born ethnic Russian. Mr Petropavlovskis - an activist in favour of the rights of the Russian minority - has been denied Latvian citizenship even though he was born in
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Tatjana Zdanoka MEP said:
"This particular case highlights the discrimination faced by Russian speakers in
We are talking about people who have worked hard, raised families, paid taxes and made their homes in
This is an absolute scandal, and by bringing cases such as that of Jurijs Petropavlovskis to the attention of MEPs we will expose the blatant discrimination practised by the government of the
As well as the petitioners, the Committee will hear from representatives of the Latvian government and the European Commission. On the basis of the hearing, the Petitions Committee will decide how to proceed with the examination of the petitions.
It could decide to ask the European Commission to take action to ensure that EU law is respected by Latvia, it could refer the issue to Parliament in plenary, it could send a fact-finding mission to Latvia, it could address the Latvian Government directly, or could resort to a combination of these measures.
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