Few weeks ago the Foundation informed that it took legal activities concerning expelling from the church polish tourists by the priest Vaidas Vaišvila (more information http://www.efhr.eu/2012/09/25/efhr-podejmuje-dzialania-prawne-w-sprawie-wypedzenia-z-kosciola-polskich-turystow/).
The Foundation turned to prosecutor’s office in order to bring the priest to justice on the basis of article 169 of the penal code for discrimination on the ethnic background. However, the prosecutor of Vilnius Prosecutor District refused to conduct an inquiry justifying it with the lack of offence hallmarks. The prosecutor pointed also that the Foundation’s application concerning bringing the priest to justice is based on unconfirmed facts and there is lack of any objective information necessary for taking legal activities. Moreover, the prosecutor claimed that there are no grounds to interfere in the church’s internal affairs, which was a great bewilderment for the foundation.
The foundation of course did not agree with such prosecutor’s decision and appealed it against to the District Court. The court agreed with the Foundation’s arguments and pronounced that initiation of investigation is necessary. The court criticized lack of investigating required by law. It stressed also that although the church functions as an independent community according to its canons and statuses, the state must interfere when the law is being violated.
The foundation is satisfied by the pronounced ruling and is expecting that the priest Vaidas Vaišvila will be brought to justice in not too distant future.
Every man, regardless of their social status, should bear responsibility for their unlawful acts. EFHR brings plaints to enforcement agencies concerning acts violating human rights. Especially when enforcement agencies do not fulfil their duties. Lithuanian state cannot remain a neutral observer for an increasing level of hatred and contempt of human rights.
Translated by Małgorzata Rzeźnik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.