Latvian Resistance on Trial: Verdict of Kononov’s "Guilt" Justifies Fascism

" ... The ruling will have not only disastrous consequences for human rights area in Europe but also will deal a slap in the face of all groups that put up resistance to Nazis. Proceeding from this logic, it’s possible to start legal proceedings against American, British and French participants of the resistance movement and military operations, says the deputy chairman of the parliament’s international affairs committee, Andrei Klimov. ... "

Lada Korotun | Voice of Russia | May 21, 2010

Vasily Kononov

The European Court of Human Rights is trying to rewrite history and justify Fascism. This is how the Russian parliamentarians described the verdict of guilty announced by the Grand Chamber against a former Soviet partisan, Vasily Kononov. The verdict is not only a dangerous precedent but also an attempt to review the decisions of the Nuremburg Tribunal, says a statement adopted by the Lower House of the Russian parliament.

The standoff between the 87-year old veteran of the Second World War and the Latvian government has been going on for 12 years. The Latvian government sentenced him to prison and declared him a war criminal for fighting against Nazis to liberate his motherland after joining partisans at the beginning of the war. In summer 1944, he was involved in a special operation during which 9 Nazi collaborators were executed following a verdict of a partisan tribunal. Earlier, a partisan group was destroyed following a tip-off from these people. At present, the Latvian government insists that the Nazi collaborators were just civilians.

In 2008, The European Court overturned a Latvian court ruling and ordered the Latvian government to pay him compensation for sending him to prison. It admitted that the action of Vasily Kononov was not criminal during the war. However, in May 2010, the Grand Chamber annulled the ruling. The ruling will have not only disastrous consequences for human rights area in Europe but also will deal a slap in the face of all groups that put up resistance to Nazis. Proceeding from this logic, it’s possible to start legal proceedings against American, British and French participants of the resistance movement and military operations, says the deputy chairman of the parliament’s international affairs committee, Andrei Klimov.

“This is a dangerous precedent because millions of people of the allied countries fought in the Second World War,” says Andrei Klimov. “For one, the allied forced bombed Dresden. Women and babies, the old, patients and people of various nationalities died following their bombardments on Berlin. Let us prosecute the pilots of these aircraft under the same logic. Similarly, partisans who fought against Nazi occupation across Europe can also be tried because they also killed Nazis and their collaborators. These are the ideas that come to our minds following the ruling of the Grand Chamber in Strasburg,” Andrei Klimov said.

The attack on the Soviet partisan is not far from reviving Fascism. This is also few steps away from revising the decisions of the Nuremburg Tribunal, says Andrei Klimov. “The continuation of this logic will ultimately lead to whitewashing of Hitler and his accomplices,” says Andrei Klimov. “It is incorrect to reappraise the events of the war under the laws of peacetime. No one can replace the Nuremburg Tribunal that tried Fascism and its crimes against humanity. This is the reason why many countries are continuing to prosecute Nazis,” Andrei Klimov said.

Regrettably, the people who were involved in the prosecution should defend human rights. According to Andrei Klimov, the Grand Chamber’s ruling is politically motivated although the Strasburg Court was established to prosecute Nazi criminals. Any action supporting Nazism in Strasburg should be considered as a crime.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/05/21/8258985.html