The European Foundation of Human Rights would like to inform that another injunction for an author of an offensive comment was issued. It was based on the Foundation’s applications submitted to the General Public Prosecutor’s Office. (You can read about previous successes in court here)
On 31 July 2012 the court of Kėdainiai district (Kėdainių rajono apylinkės teismas) issued an injunction for a resident of the district, A. Š, for public incitement to hatred by a derogatory comment that involved encouragement for discriminating people for their nationality.
The comment, written on 18 May 2011 at www.delfu.lt site, was as follows: ‘pasiuskite tuos lenkus nah-ui’, which is an equivalent of ‘send those Poles to hell’. For his comment on the ‘Polish members of Parliament demand explanations from the Lithuanian MP’ article (‘Lenkijos parlamentarai nori Lietuvos ambasadorės paaiškinimų’) the author was fined with 390 Lt.
He pleaded guilty. The article on which he commented made him very indignant because, in his opinion, too much is said about the Poles already. He understands that he has humiliated the Poles with his commend and he is aware that such a behaviour is unlawful. He honestly regrets his deed. His guilt was proved on the basis of establishing his IP address and the expertise of the Inspectors of Journalist Ethics.
The court concluded that the aim of the author was public insult of Poles and propagation of hatred and discrimination based on nationality.
The penalty is quite symbolic because of a palliation, that is, according to the Lithuanian law, pleading guilty and regretting one’s deed.
In general there have been 7 fines for comments, based on a few applications (out of tens) submitted by the European Foundation of Human Rights. In 2011 the Foundation submitted 25 applications about comments to the General Public Prosecutor’s Office and in 2012 it has been 78 applications so far. They are all submitted as elements of the conducted for months campaign, aiming at making all those who, without any restraint, violate others’ dignity, including encouraging people to kill them, stop feeling unpunished. (http://www.efhr.eu/2011/08/18/european-foundation-of-human-rights-reported-a-dozen-or-so-cases-of-the-initiation-of-criminal-proceedings/?lang=en)
Through reporting unlawful comments to law enforcement authorities, the Foundation would like to make the public institutions responsible for law enforcement aware of how serious the situation and the danger associated with it are. The state cannot idly look at hatred appearing on an unprecedented scale. The effects of such an approach can be seen in soundings, clearly showing that the negative attitude of politics and media towards minorities influences the Lithuanian society. (http://www.efhr.eu/2012/01/06/efhr-took-notice-seriously-of-the-survey-published-in-the-issue-of-iq-on-january/?lang=en)
The European Foundation of Human Rights would like to cordially thank all those, who sent us information about unlawful entries. Without your help the success would not be possible. Further help will be appreciated.
The European Foundation of Human Rights
Translated by Emilia Zawieracz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.