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The film “Attempt on the State: Inconvenient Vashkevich” was screened in the European Parliament

Olga Pavuk, Baltic-Course.com editor-in-chief, Brussels/Riga, 09.09.2016.Print version
A documentary by Polish filmmaker and script-writer Andrzey Tarkovsky-Kiliszevski, inspired by Inara Vilkaste’s book “Attempt on the State. Inconvenient Vashkevich” was screened in the European Parliament (EP) yesterday. Film viewing was organized by a Member of the European Parliament for Latvia Andrejs Mamikins. Human right activists, MEPs and journalists from different countries participated in discussions after the screening.

Photo: V. Repecky

Unable to find support in her own country, Inara Vilkaste receives it from international community once again, including the Vice-President of the European Parliament Anneli Jaatemaki, former Secretary General of the Council of Europe Dr. Walter Schwimmer, French human rights lawyer Cristina Kruger and prominent human rights activist and a journalist from Finland, Oksana Chelisheva.  

 

Costas Mavrides (Social-democrats, Cyprus), Heidi Huatala (“the Greens”, Finland), Jana Toom (Liberals, Estonia), assistants of Latvian MEPs Tatjana Zhdanoka and Iveta Grigule were also among the viewers.  

 

Regrettably, but not surprisingly, representatives of Latvian governing coalition were not seen at the screening of the film which raises important issues about their country.  This is despite the invitations circulation to every MEP for Latvia, although Mr. Karins was spotted near the entrance to the European Parliament.

 

No representatives of Latvian media were seen at the screening either, in particular, representatives of a TV show “Nothing Personal” (“Nekā personīga”), who did a piece about the film in attempt to criticise it in advance of the screening, without having watched it. 


The film was recently awarded with the first prize at the European film festival “TMC London Film Festival” in Best Feature Documentary category and at the International Indie Gathering Film Festival in Cleveland (Ohio, USA). The storyline features the world where human rights mean nothing – people are controlled by intelligence services, terrorist acts, political murders, kidnapping, corruption in top echelons power and attempts to neutralize those, who dare to go against the system.


Photo: V. Repecky

After the screening Inara Vilkaste pointed out that the film is based on facts and documents, obtained during almost a decade of persecution of her and her family, which are already meticulously laid out in her book. According to I.Vilkaste it was impossible to put this book on paper in any Latvian printing house, she was forced to print it in Lithuania. “My goal is to show people that you should never give up, -- I.Vilkaste said, -- the book and the film – could be used as a handbook for law students not only on situations that lawlessness could lead to and create, but also how to fight it. Even if you are faced with unscrupulous employees of special services associated with the criminal world.  Questions of safety and value of life are at the centre of the film. Only when it is being taken away, you understand how priceless it is”.

 

In this film we see Inara’s husband – Vladimirs Vaskevics, who dedicated 25 years of service to the state. After an attempt to his life in 2007, the act of terrorism in fact, he is suffering from severe injuries and is receiving treatment in Austria. Austria refused to extradite him to Latvia, and not for the first time. 

 

Threats are also received by Inara’s and Vladimir’s children, the latest was received in March 2015. The film show that all this is happening with the supported of the intelligence services. A criminal case investigating a minibus explosion loaded with gas cylinders at the gates of the house and the case on kidnapping the youngest daughter were at the pre-trial investigation stage for 10 years (!!!). And there are a lot of similar facts featured in the film.


Photo: BC

Andrejs Mamikins is sure that “water wears away the stone”. Those who were unable to attend at the screening will receive information and the book from I.Vilkaste. According to the MEP, situation with human rights in Latvia came to the fore in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) – issues of citizenship, situation with non-citizens, and the issue on investigation attempted murder of V.Vaskevics.

 

“We are going to follow such cases. Protocol No. 24. of the EU states that all is in order with fundamental human rights in the EU. It is a terrible misconception, "- indignantly says Latvian MEP. 

 

Responding to the question by Baltic Course, where does such a fragile woman find strength for such an immense labour, Inara said: “Whatever happens - it is necessary to find the strength to speak out about injustice. This is not just a story, not just a tragedy. This film – is a warning. A group of corrupt employees of special services associated with the politician and outright criminals, in pursuit of own self-interests, is committing crimes, acts of terrorism, under the slogan of fighting corruption.


I am responsible for my family, for my daughters, if I stop, something terrible could happen. Surveilance, wiretapping and threats are going on all these years. I have an obligation to put a stop to it. I hope for my family and myself a possibility of a peaceful life”.

 






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