Freedom House report criticizes Lithuania for attitude towards national minorities

During one of the latest television debates the Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis pointed out that national minorities do not have to be foreign policy’s hostages. He explained that accusations of violating the rights of Polish minority in Lithuania do not need to be heeded, as, in his opinion, they are unfounded. He quotes this year’s Freedom House report, which states clearly that rights of Polish minority in Lithuania are protected.

European Fundation of Human rights is not gonna give up!

On Agust 17th A.D. Prosecutor of a district of the city Klajpeda overrode the rule of discontinuance. The discontinuance was made because suspected could have not be found. European fundation of Human rights was very pleased with the desicion. An investigation starded on the basis of the clause number 170 part 4 of Penal code of Republic of Lithuania, where the clause says about public incitement to racial hatred as well as humilating commets. Those commets and incitements were seen in Lithuanian information portal : www.lrytas.lt, under the article titled

Punishing for comments gains pace

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 European Foundation of Human Rights is against discrimination!

The European Foundation of Human Rights notices that increasingly more often there are job advertisements on the internet that have a discriminating character. As an organisation serving the community, the Foundation with its work contributes to bringing obeying human rights into our everyday lives and is concerned by such advertisements as those mentioned above. Therefore, we would like to give a few pieces of advice on what to do in order to avoid such mistakes when writing job vacancy advertisements. We would like to remind that discrimination is prohibited by both the Lithuanian and international law and regulations.

Free legal advices at the Odyssey of the Polish Army Festival in Medininkai

European Foundation of Human Rights is pleased to announce that on 12 August 2012 at the Odyssey of the Polish Army Festival in Medininkai was giving free legal advices. The Festival was organized by the Vilnius Branch of the ZPL and the Polish Club of Theatre Arts.

Stand of the Foundation draw a lot of interest. Everyone interested could read our leaflets (http://www.efhr.eu/ulotki/) and other brochures of the Council of Europe and European Union on human rights.

European Citizen, be aware of your rights!

On 6-12 August in Vilnius the summer school “Using Lisbon Treaty for Building Active Citizenship” was held ( read more ). Among 32 participants – representatives of various non-governmental organizations from the European Union and Turkey – the European Foundation for Human Rights was represented by Joanna Gasiul. Employees of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute in Vilnius…

EFHR has achieved another success with respect to comments on the web!

The European Foundation of Human Rights has been informed that on the basis of petitions filed by the Foundation another penal order to the author of offensive comment has been issued to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office (to learn about the previous successes, go to: http://www.efhr.eu/2012/03/15/first-penalty-for-comments/?lang=en, http://www.efhr.eu/2012/04/16/another-punishment-for-the-comments/?lang=en, http://www.efhr.eu/2012/07/18/3-wins-concerning-comments/?lang=en ).

The investigation on the “Saw for the Poles” continues

The EFHR effectively fights against the rising tide of hatred on the Internet, as evidenced by the investigation conducted on now defunct group on social network portal called Facebook, titled “Saw for the Poles” (lit. „Lenkpjūvė”). After the discovery of this group, the EFHR put forward an application to the Attorney General of Lithuania (Liertuvos Generalinė Prokuratūra) to bring group’s members to criminal liability for incitement

European Foundation of Human Rights support the decision of OSCE

On the 10th of July, the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a new electoral district boundaries. The commission’s decision changed the boundaries of several constituencies in Vilnius, Kaunas, Kelme and Vilnius region. Two of them, dominated by Poles (Suzonys and Skirlenai), were incorporated into the „Lithuanian“ Svenchioniu-Moletu constituency. The commission justified its decision claiming that demographic indicators have changed – in some constituencies the population has greatly increased, in others – decreased.

European Foundation of Human Rights expresses concern about the comments

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.

The European Foundation of Human Rights is taking part in the summer school titled “Using Lisbon Treaty for Building Active Citizenship”.

On April 20, the European Foundation of Human Rights promoted applying for participation in the summer school about “Using Lisbon Treaty for Building Active Citizenship” ( for further information look at ). Law students and lawyers working with non-governmental organizations involved in the protection of human rights may apply for participation in the program. After…

EFHR as the only Lithuanian foundation which has lent support to the first European Citizens’ Initiative – Fraternité2020

Fraternité2020 is the first registered European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) which aims at  expanding EU exchange programmes – such as Erasmus or European Voluntary Service (EVS). Making these exchange programmes more attractive will enable more and more European citizens spend time in another European member state and fully appreciate the meaning of united Europe. Moreover, this experience will develop intercultural skills and facilitate positive economic, social and cultural development in the whole European continent.

Another success of EFHR: Court of Appeals rejects appeal of the Inspector of Journalists’ Ethics against Wilnoteka.lt

Lithuanian Court of Appeals agreed with arguments of lawyer Tadeusz Gudzińśki representing Wilnoteka on behalf of the European Foundation of Human Rights and upheld the verdict announced on 22nd December 2011 by the Vilnius County Administrative Court (for more information see http://www.efhr.eu/2011/12/23/the-court-rescinded-the-inspector‘s-penalty-for-wilnoteka-pl/?lang=en). Giving the ruling, the Court overruled the decision of the Inspector of Journalists’ Ethics who had imposed a penalty on the web portal for publishing the article “In defence of Polish schools in Lithuania.” The Court announced that while making the decision the Inspector violated the main principles of the procedure which were to ensure objective appraisal of circumstances and legitimacy of the decision.  

Photo competition “Europe in my Region”

Would you like to win digital camera equipment worth up to 1000 euro and a trip for 2 to Brussels? Take part in “Europe in my Region” photo competition this summer!

The competition will be hosted on the Facebook webpage of the European Commission. You can enter photos in two categories: 

Surnames – no, the names of companies – of course

European Foundation for Human Rights filed five applications to the State Language Inspectorate asking for an explanation of why the names of companies (both Lithuanian and non-Lithuanian), car license plates, tourist inscriptions and excise stamps on the goods subjected to excise duty (such as cigarettes and alcohol) can contain letters which are not included in…

3 wins concerning comments!

The European Foundation of Human Rights has received further notifications that three penal orders had been issued against the authors of offensive comments, on the basis of the motions filed with the Prosecutor General’s Office by the Foundation (about the previous wins: http://www.efhr.eu/2012/03/15/first-penalty-for-comments/?lang=en, http://www.efhr.eu/2012/04/16/another-punishment-for-the-comments/?lang=en).

On23 April 2012 the District Courtof Panevėžys City (Panevėžio miesto apylinkės teismas) issued a penal order against the city’s inhabitant, V.M., for public incitement to hatred and national discrimination through humiliating comments.

The author was fined 520 Lt for his comment, written on1 July 2011, on an article on lrytas.lt about the considerations to allow bilingual

Jendzej Kovalcuk

Jendzej Kovalcuk is a student at Warsaw School of Economics studying international economic relations. He comes from Vilnius, so during his summer holidays Jendzej decided to join European Foundation of Human Rights.

From July to the end of September Jendzej will hold a research internship at the Foundation for the necessary information for his bachelor thesis on human rights in the Central and Eastern Europe.