03:46 GMT27 January 2020
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    UK journalist and blogger Graham Phillips, recently detained at the SS legionnaires' annual march in Riga, has been deported to Russia, Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Latvian law enforcement detained Phillips who tried to cover the march to commemorate former members of the Latvian Legion of the Waffen SS in Riga. Prior to being arrested, Phillips, who has previously contributed reports for the RT broadcaster, publicly condemned fascism, which such events glorify.

    On Wednesday evening, Phillips wrote on his Twitter page that he had been released from the police department.

    "Phillips arrived in Latvia in his own car and the Latvian authorities cannot deport him directly to the United Kingdom. That is why we took the decision to deport him to Russia, which has agreed to accept him," Kozlovskis told journalists.

    Phillips has been banned from entering Latvia for three years but, according to the minister, it was decided not to blacklist Phillips after consultations with police. Kozlovskis noted that his decision to detain the journalist had an administrative, but not a political character, as Phillips had violated public order during the march.

    ​The annual Nazi veterans' march has been harshly criticized by a number of international anti-fascist organizations as well as of governments worldwide. Russian Foreign Ministry human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said earlier that the march, permitted by the Latvian authorities, violated international law and the principles of the Nuremberg trials.


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    deportaion, Nazis, Graham Phillips, Latvia, Russia
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