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Latvia has dedicated counterterrorism provisions in its Criminal Code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights.

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

The Criminal Code of Latvia defines terrorism as follows:

the use of explosives, use of fire, use of nuclear chemical, chemical, biological, bacteriological, toxic or other weapons of mass destruction, mass poisoning, spreading of epidemics or epizootic diseases, kidnapping of persons, taking of hostages, hijacking of air, land or sea means of transport or other activities if they have been committed for the purpose of intimidating the population or inciting the State, its institutions, or international organisations to take any action or refrain therefrom, or for the purpose of harming the interests of the State or its inhabitants or international organisations.S. 79(1), Criminal Code of Latvia.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Latvia is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Latvia is also a State Party to the four European treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2003 Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism State Party
2005 Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party
2015 Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The ordinary penalty for terrorist offences upon conviction is either life imprisonment or deprivation of liberty for between eight and twenty years.S. 79(1), Criminal Code of Latvia.Acts of cyber terrorism carry a prison sentence of between ten and twenty years or life imprisonment.S. 79(2), Criminal Code of Latvia.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Latvian State Security Service (VDD) is the main counterterrorism authority in Latvia. Within the VDD a specific department – the Counterterrorism Centre – was established in 2005. 

The Latvian State Police has a dedicated counter-terrorism and hostage response unit called OMEGA.


Criminal Code of Latvia (English translation)

Criminal Code of Latvia (original version of 2022)