European Foundation of Human Rights continues the campaign against the increasing wave of hatred on the internet in Lithuania. Foundation wishes to express concern about the indifference of the state authorities to the lawlessness and incitement to hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief.
European Foundation of Human Rights have already sent ten applications to the Prosecutor General’s Office related to the comments, which humiliate and discriminate people on the grounds of nationality. The author of internet comments (named himself Katastrofijus) publicly incited to violence and hatred against the Polish minorities in Lithuania, as well as insulted Polish nation: „Lenkų tauta neturi teisės egzistuoti. Stalino 1945 m. sukurtą Lenkiją Vokietijos ir Lietuvos žemėse tarp Oderio ir Lazdijų su visa lenkų tauta būtina sunaikinti fiziškai, nes tai parazitai. Lenkija – silpna valstybiūkštė, visad nė nesigindama išnykinėjanti iš žemėlapio ir pastoviai vėl įkurinėjama Rusijos. Laikas galų gale baigti su ta lenkų tauta ir jos egzistavimu. Lenkų kalba – kiaulių slengas“ (The Polish nation has no right to exist. Poland, established by Stalin in 1945 in German and Lithuanian territories between the Oder and Lazdijai, together with the entire Polish nation, must definitely be physically destroyed, as they’re vermin. Poland – a weak little country that keeps disappearing off the map even without fighting, constantly re-established by Russia. It’s time to finally end this Polish nation and its existence. The Polish language – pigs’ slang”); „(…) Lenkų tautą būtina sunaikinti, nekęsk lenkų tautos, tai mūsų priešai”(„(…) The Polish nation must definitely be destroyed, hate the Poles, they’re our enemy.”
European Foundation of Human Rights criticizes the author’s comments and believes that such statements conflict with the law of the Republic of Lithuania, and therefore should be punished for encouraging hatred against national minorities in accordance to article number 170 from the Lithuanian Penal Code. Unfortunately the indifference of the law enforcement authorities to this issue is disturbing. The Foundation would like to note that ignoring this problem conflicts with the law of European Union, mainly with Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law and allows for the author of comments to stay unpunished, humiliate others, make further incitement to violence.
Through sending claims to police offices on illegal comments, the Foundation would like to lead the situation, where state authorities responsible for the obeying of the law would recognize how serious and danger as well as the related to this problem we face. The State must not stay passive anymore towards arising escalation of hostility, which size appears to be a precedent. The consequences of negative campaign against national minorities led by media and politicians, might be seen through observation, among others, polls. According to this we may conclude, that the campaign spread now into Lithuanian society.
The campaign conducted by the European Foundation of Human Rights against the increasing level of hatred shown on the Internet in Lithuania is starting to return positive effects with a rise in sentences made by the jury (http://www.efhr.eu/2012/03/15/first-penalty-for-comments/?lang=en).
We strongly encourage everyone to inform us about any articles or posts on the internet, that are found to be illegal. Thank you in advance for assistance.
European Foundation of Human Rights