OSLO – Police in Norway fined two Russian sailors for wearing camouflage work uniforms that were considered to disturb the population.
Local media reported this on Friday (20/1/2023). Last week, police in the town of Kirkenes, in the northern province of Finnmark, Norway, said, “Police have conducted immigration checks on Russian sailors wearing clothing that could easily be mistaken for military uniforms.
Speaking to the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, law enforcement officials confirmed the two men had been fined 5,000 Norwegian krone ($500) for wearing the clothes while walking around the city.
Prosecutor in the case Martine Meslo said the men were convicted of misusing public uniforms.
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Meslo said, “The dress could be mistaken for a Russian military uniform, and could create fear and discomfort, given Russia’s war actions and the political security situation, both for the local population, but also among the Ukrainian refugees living here.”
Dagbladet posted photos of the man with a blurry face, wearing camouflage clothing with a small flag on his chest and the word “Russia” in Cyrillic.
“Wearing camouflage clothing alone is not illegal,” said the report.
Meslo noted one of the reasons why the incident resulted in the fine was because Russian ships were deemed a “security threat” and were only allowed to enter three Norwegian ports, including Kirkenes.
He added that in the past the crew of Russian fishing vessels did not usually wear such clothes.
Attorney Bernt Heiberg told Dagbladet that Russians should not be fined. “From the way the case is presented, I think the police have gone too far by issuing a fine for something that appears to be unpunishable,” he said.
He added that it was nearly impossible to mistake it for an official one, even considering it had the Russian flag on it.
Heiberg also noted “he’d never seen anything like it”, suggesting the Russian take the case to court. The two sailors have taken the advice to heart, according to the outlet.
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