Recall that on Thursday, April 21, the Parliament of Latvia the final reading adopted the "spy of the amendment to the Criminal law. After critical evaluations on the part of stakeholders from the bill were deleted in separate controversies.
The original version of the amendments did not contain provisions on incompatibility of the Constitution of Latvia — indicated only that punishable is the attempt to undermine the independence of the country or its sovereignty, territorial integrity, to overthrow the government or change the form of government. In the current edition these items are updated by reference to the Constitution.
For the Union in an organized group (more than two persons) to undermine the independence of the country or its sovereignty, territorial integrity, to overthrow the government or change the form of government provided in the Constitution the way the law will be punished with a prison sentence of up to five years, short-term imprisonment, forced labor or monetary fine, with the possible police supervision for a term up to 3 years.
According to the amendments, the punishment for activities directed against the independence of the Latvian state, sovereignty, territorial integrity, state power and state devices not provided by the Constitution in a way that can be deprivation of liberty for a term up to 8 years or with supervision for a term up to three years. For the same actions, but with violence, or committed in an organized group, are punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 15 years and with supervision for a term up to three years.
The amendments provide that for a public call against the state of Latvia's independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, state power and devices not provided for in the Constitution or for the dissemination of such materials, the offender may be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, community service or a fine with supervision of up to three years.
The activity aimed to assist foreign state in the appeal against the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, state power and the device or state security could be punished with deprivation of liberty for a term up to five years, forced labor or a fine with supervision of up to three years.
Illegal collection or transfer to a foreign state or organization of information constituting a state secret, shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of three to 20 years, with the supervision of up to three years. Gathering information with a view to its transfer to a foreign intelligence service directly or through mediation may result in a penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term up to 10 years with probation for up to three years.
The legal Commission of the diet on Wednesday decided to exclude from the amendments to the Penal law a provision criminalizing illegal access to state secrets, if this is not done to commit espionage. Against this norm are the journalistic organizations of the country.
The Commission deferred the consideration of the merits of this rule. Commission Chairman Gaidis Berzins and other members suggested to consider it in two weeks, when will discussions about the jurisprudence of the European court of human rights.
The Latvian Association of journalists believes that a new rule of law may pose a threat to the media, as it allows to punish journalists who reveal socially valuable information, and they complicate the protection of sources of information. According to the amendments, the punishment for illegal access to state secrets will be up to three years of imprisonment, intermittent imprisonment, forced labor or monetary fine.