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Crackdown in Latvian Capital

November 18, 1987|Associated Press

MOSCOW — Police in the Baltic city of Riga closed streets and confined human rights activists today to block any show of nationalist sentiment on the anniversary of Latvia's short-lived independence, a Moscow source said.

Groups in the tiny Baltic republic had called for protests against the forced incorporation of their homeland into the Soviet Union in 1940. Latvia had become independent on Nov. 18, 1918. On June 14 and Aug. 23 of this year, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Riga to mark the respective anniversaries of the Soviet takeover and the signing of the 1939 Nazi-Soviet pact that consigned Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania to the Soviet sphere of influence.

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