As reported by “Kurier Wileński,” after an exhibition game between “Polonia Wilno” and “Žalgiris,” the supporters of “Žalgiris,” supported by Lithunian Neo-Nazis, attacked the supporters of “Polonia Wilno” in front of the stadium’s gate. “Žalgiris” supporters charged shouting “ Lietuva lietuviams!” (Lithuania for Lithuanians); there were also curses and insults from the crowd, directed at the Poles. Despite being outnumbered two to one, and despite police idly standing by, the supporters of “Polonia” managed to protect their flag, destroying which they think to have been the chief goal of the attack. Police did not detain anybody.
European Foundation of Human Rights condemns this reprehensible act which is the result of, among other things, unfriendly attitude of the government and the increasing negative attitude of the society towards ethnic minorities. Everyone who has suffered during the riots are asked to to contact the Foundation in order to obtain free legal counsel. The Foundation also urges the witnesses to call immediately. The person whose information aids in capturing the perpetrators will be rewarded with 500 LT.
We also remind the readers of a campaign run by the Foundation against insulting comments on the Internet (http://www.efhr.eu/2011/08/18/europejska-fundacja-praw-człowieka-przeciwko-narastającej-fali-nienawiści-w-internecie-na-litwie/). By filing complaints with law enforcement agencies, the Foundation is hoping to bring the attention of the authorities to the seriousness of the situation and the threat it presents. The authorities cannot stand idly by as the hatred reaches unprecedented heights.
The effects of such approach can be seen in the polls which clearly show that the negative campaign directed at the ethnic minorities, and ran by the media and the politicians, has affected Lithaunian society (http://www.efhr.eu/2012/01/06/europejska-fundacja-praw-człowieka-zaniepokojona-wynikami-sondażu/).
The campaign against the increasing wave of hatred in Lithuania, ran by EFHR, has achieved its first success in the form of court sentences (http://www.efhr.eu/2012/03/15/pierwsza-kara-za-komentarze/).
The Foundation asks to be informed about other similar incidents.
Translated by Andrzej Rola within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.