In February and March, in Vilnius, there will be marches against violation of human rights organised. On Tuesday, February 7th, in the  Lithuanian Parliament Sejmas, the deaf and hard of hearing will be protesting  against discrimination in access to information. They claim that the authorities violate the 21st Article of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Disabled, which concerns freedom of opinion and expression, as well as access to information. Last Autumn, the Lithuanian Deaf Association officially requested the Sejm’s representatives to grant 300 thousand Litas to the national television for the providing the subtitles to TV programmes in 2012. Thus, the deaf and hard of hearing could have access to information. This request has not been answered, thus the discriminated will call on solving the problem in public.

On Sunday, March 11th, on the Lithuanian Independence Day, there will be a Freedom March going  through the Gedymin0 Alley. It will be held as an alternative for the “Lithuania for Lithuanians” March, that has been organized annually for eleven years by the Lithuanian national youth.  The dangerous tendencies for human rights violation and for intolerance towards members of other nations, denominations and sexual orientation, are reinforced among the Lithuanian society. This is why a broad campaign against these tendencies is so crucial.

On Saturday, March 17th, there will be another march held in defence of Polish education. It has been organised by the strike committees of the Polish schools in Lithuania. The parade will start at 1 pm, in the Lithuanian Parliament Sejmas (Gedimino pr. 53), and it will march towards the square in front of the Government building, where a rally will take place. Their major demand is cancellation of the discriminating regulations in the passed Education Act:

  • abolition of unification of the Lithuanian as the native and as state language in Maturity examination;
  • reintroduction of the obligatory Matura examination in Polish as native language;
  • cessation of elimination of the native language from the Polish schools, in which teaching of certain subjects in Lithuanian has been implemented;
  • withdrawal of the discriminative postulate to  preserve Lithuanian schools at the expense of Polish schools.

Based on: delfi. lt, znadwilii. lt, PPA, wilnoteka. lt

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Tłumaczenie Eliza Łuszczewska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu Translated by Eliza Łuszczewska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu