Latvians hunger-strike over language

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Sep 2 14:06:40 UTC 2004

>>From United Press International:

Latvians hunger-strike over language

Riga, Latvia, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Four Latvian human rights advocates began a
hunger strike Monday to protest their government's insistence on teaching
Latvian instead of Russian in schools.

The four men took indefinite leave from their various jobs to stage the
protest, and claim they have the support of parents of Russian school
children in the capital, Riga, Russia's Novosti news agency said.

The Latvian government ordered as of Sept. 1, 60 percent of high school
subjects be taught in Latvian, rather than the Russian language.

One of the hunger-strikers, Mikhail Tyasin, told the Russian newspaper
Vesti Segodnya he was concerned Latvia's government was ignoring the
contentious issue of language rights.

"For more than a year, our schoolchildren and parents have been organizing
protests, pickets and other large-scale actions in Latvia and abroad," he

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