Latvians face up to 10 years in prison for taking part in armed conflicts
MOSCOW, February 12 (RAPSI) – On Thursday, Latvia’s parliament adopted in the final reading amendments to legislation introducing criminal liability for illegal participation in hostilities abroad and for recruiting, training and sending people to such conflicts, Baltic News Service (BNS) reported.
The bill defines as illegal the active participation in hostilities abroad that infringe on the territorial integrity or political independence of states or otherwise contradict international law and Latvia’s commitments under it.
Penalties for this crime include up to 10 years’ imprisonment and subsequent police supervision of up to three years. The same penalties are stipulated for financing armed conflicts.
Actions outside the country of conflict that can be interpreted as active participation will also be punishable.
The current legislation does not stipulate limiting the freedom of movement or initiating criminal proceedings against Latvian citizens participating in hostilities abroad, the bill’s authors said. The authorities can only discourage those who plan to take part in conflicts abroad but have no effective legal instruments for preventing their departure.
The law will become effective the day after its approval.