Latvian police have arrested a man who attacked a pro-Ukrainian activist during a rally in Riga, Latvia’s capital city
A young participant of the rally had a Ukrainian flag draped on his shoulders during a protest meeting on overcoming the lingering effects of the Soviet occupation of Latvia last century.
After severely assaulting the young man with the Ukrainian flag, the attacker escaped the scene. However, he was later arrested by the Latvian police, reports Latvian news website Delfi.
The attack took place on May 20 at around 8 p.m. at a pro-Ukrainian rally and concert in downtown Riga. A man who was driving a BMW car got out and attacked the young activist. He started beating him up.
The activist, who is 19 years old, had a Ukrainian flag on his shoulders. The man from the BMW car drove away after the assault.
A couple of hours later local policemen accompanied by servicemen of special forces of Riga regional administration arrested the suspect.
The 38-year-old man is now in custody. A court in Riga will hear his case soon.
Police have classified the case as one of hooliganism, and based on the severity of the attack the suspect may be punished with a five-year prison service, a fine, or community service.
Police will also investigate whether the 38-year-old man was driven by ethnic hatred or any nationalistic sentiment. If proven, that will make his punishment more severe, according to the Latvian Criminal Code.