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The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights stands up for non-citizens

RIGA, November 15 / Corr. ITAR-TASS Nil Ushakov - Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Alvaro Gil-Robles yet once more called Latvian Authorities to grant to local Russian-speaking non-citizens the right to elect the self-government. Thats what he announced today in front of journalists in Riga.

The Commissioner has also paid attention to the necessity to reduce the number of non-citizens, which now counts almost half a million people. Alvaro Gil-Robles today has been to Latvia for a one-day visit, during which he met with the officiating Minister of Foreign Affairs Artis Pabriks, the officiating Minister for Social Integration Nils Muizhnieks and a number of representatives of non-governmental organizations.

During his last visit of this Baltic Republic the Commissioner also called Latvian authorities to permit non-citizens to take part in municipal elections. Today about 500 000 non-citizens are deprived of all political rights. Recently another high-rank European official, Supreme Commissioner of the OSCE Rolf Ekeus, spoke out the recommendation to broaden their rights. But the countrys authorities refuse for different reasons to take this step.



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