March 16 Nazi rally in Riga, moments before Graham Phillips gets arrested. Still from Mixnews.lv video
Latvia made the decision to deport the journalist Graham Phillips after detaining him during the Latvian SS Legionnaires march on March 16. Graham Phillips considers the decision of Latvia to blacklist him silly. As he told in his interview to Baltkom radio, he found out that he will be deported when the law enforcement officers came to his hotel room, Mixnews.lv reports.
“I had no chance to visit the embassy of my country, I couldn’t defend myself. I was just said that I am blacklisted. All of this happened due to the Nazi rally which I covered, and the government didn’t like the way I covered it,” Phillips said.
“I always liked Latvia, but it turned out that Latvia is not a serious country, it’s nonsense. This is an attack on freedom of speech. This is impossible in Germany, France, Russia! This is shame. I am in Russia and I won’t dispute anything, there are no normal laws and rights in Latvia. I had arrived there with positive intentions, I wanted to cover local events, I had only friendly intentions,” Phillips noted.
He emphasized that he had the right to ask any questions.
“Any journalist has this right… Even if it was a provocation – three years of deportation? What for? My questions were appropriate – why did you come, who do you glorify Nazism?.. I am a polite and just man, but harsh questions are a right of every journalist… I am sorry that such a situation is at hand in Latvia,” the journalist said.
“The police told me to be calm, and I was. You can see it on the video. The guy I was talking to was aggressive, I was just standing there with the camera and the guy was pushing me. This is absurd. I remember Latvia 10 years ago, I always liked it here, but now I didn’t recognize it. The authorities here are not in their right minds, they are supporters of fascism. I am an independent British reporter, Latvia seems not to like such reporters. This isn’t the EU, this is nonsense,” Phillips emphasized.