A letter signed by 27 members of European Parliament has been sent to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, demanding the company halt sales of goods featuring Soviet symbols
Politicians in Lithuania are leading a Europe-wide campaign demanding Amazon halt the selling of products featuring symbols associated with the former Soviet Union (USSR).
Lithuanian Member of European Parliament (MEP) Antanas Guoga said the hammer and sickle, a symbol of communism and the most-recognised symbol of the USSR, reminded him and millions of Europeans of a "bloody regime, whose aggression impacted every family in ours and many other countries."
"The painful consequences of this aggression are felt to this day. In a society of free peoples such as the European Union, we cannot allow the veneration of that, which symbolises occupation, suffering and massacre for millions," he added.
The letter, which has been signed by 27 MEPs across several countries, was addressed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, outlining their concerns and reminding the internet giant of the Soviet Union's dark history.
"Good such as t-shirts, costumes, flags, memorabilia and more, with symbols of the hammer and sickle, glorify the totalitarian Soviet regime and thereby demonstrate lack of compassion to millions of European citizens who are Amazon Inc customers as well," the letter said.
"The total number of victims of the Soviet Regime is estimated to more than 60 million. Over 10 million people were sent to camps in Siberia, where they endured inhumane living conditions, forced labour, starvation and physical violence."
Lithuania's requests to Amazon follow similar campaigns to Walmart and Adidas earlier this year, which resulted in the two retail giants pulling its Soviet-themed stock.
It was launched, Guoga says, after Lithuanian social media users started protesting online using the hashtag #WhyNotSvastika, which references the Nazi-associated swastika symbol.
Several MEPs have reacted publicly to the campaign, including Poland's Kosma Zlotowski, who said he hoped Amazon would take the latest appeal seriously.
"The USSR was a totalitarian and criminal state. A company like Amazon must know that," he said.