Latvia commemorates Stalin-era deportation

BBC News Online, Monday 11 June 2001, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK

A week of commemorations has begun in Latvia for victims of the deportation by the Soviet authorities sixty years ago.

The Latvian authorities say that more than 15,000 people, mostly senior civil servants, top army officers and intellectuals, were arrested in June 1941, after Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union.

They were sent to concentration camps or to Siberia, many are thought to have died in the camps.

Similiar purges were carried out in Estonia and Lithuania.

A monument for the victims of the deportation is to be unveiled as part of the celebrations, and an international conference aimed at assessing the tragedy will open on Tuesday in Riga.