What happens next with proper names?

In the media, Lithuanian politicians increasingly express their opinions concerning the original spelling of names and surnames. Remigijus Šimašius, former Minister of Justice, voices his opinion in an article entitled “We lost our way between Warsaw and Vilnius”, which he has recently posted on his blog (http://www.simasius.lt/). The politician perceives the existing situation as unjust,…

The Foundation organized the meeting to discuss changing the spelling of surnames.

It is widely known that the Lithuanian law – which regulates the issue of name/surname spelling in official documents, as well as any spelling changes – is very complicated. The petitioner’s claims are limited by a number of conditions that have to be fulfilled. This is why the procedures connected with changing the spelling of…

Nobody will be punished for writing “hairdresser” or “shop”

fryzjer_nadpisNow, nobody can be afraid of being punished for writing anything in Polish, Belorussian or Russian. The aim of writing in other languages is to improve the quality of services for tourists and to encourage more tourism to Lithuania. The adoption of the new legislation allows traders to advertise their business in any language they choose. Next to advertisements in the official language it is now possible to include different information or vocal recordings about the business in a foreign language without the fear of being fined. So far the regulations prohibited these types of advertisements and this was, according to the Foundation, illegal and breaking the rules of economic freedom.

More contradictions in law on cases of original names and surnames spelling

EFHR has received another official statement of statistical data about non-Lithuanian surnames registered in Lithuania from the Bureau of Population Records (Gyventojų registro tarnyba prie VRM). What the statistics seem to prove is just as surprising as the previous statement (more information is available here: http://en.efhr.eu/2012/12/28/w-lawful-in-lithuania-after-all/). According to the official statement, it is possible to register names…

EFHR is not the victim – “Saw for the Poles” case continued

facebookSome time ago, the European Foundation of Human Rights came across an outrageous group on social networking site Facebook called “Saw for the Poles”, which aimed to share all sorts of offensive content regarding Polish people. Their motto was “Shiv a pole while he’s young!” EFHR submitted a claim about the group and following that, the Regional Prosecution Office of Lithuania announced that they had started an official investigation into the matter, led by the Vilnius Constabulary.

Anti-Hate Speech Movement Training

The Department of Youth of the Council of Europe would like to invite all young internet activists interested in cases of human rights violations, violence in general, aggression, discrimination and racism to apply for participation in a series of free training courses that are set to take place between February 2013 and March 2014 in…

We encourage you to participate in international training courses in Poland!

Estonian Foundation Noored Ühiskonna Heaks offers trainings entitled ‘CoexEast’, which will take place in March 13 – 20 this year in Bielsko-Biała, Poland. CoexEst – is an international project with the primary objective to analyse the problems of discrimination and xenophobia in a globalised world.  There will be also discussed other topics such as intercultural…

The campaign against bilingual street name plates continues

The Foundation has repeatedly informed about various steps (including legal) undertaken by different state institutions (especially the State Language Inspectorate) to remove the Polish street name plates common in the areas inhabited by the Polish national minority in Lithuania. On January 28 this year, another disadvantageous decision for the Poles had been undertaken by the…

Why does the number of requests concerning change of surname fall?

On 22 January, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania announced on their website that during the years 2010 and 2012 the number of requests for name and/or surname changes fell. The ministry perceives this to be as a result of the simplification of procedures for some kinds of justifications provided for alteration. Some…

New year – new victories

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) began 2013 by winning a cyberspace hate speech case. The Foundation spotted that a citizen of Šiauliai, G.D, had written a discriminatory comment inciting violence. On www.lrytas.lt website, under an article titled “Members of the European Parliament applied to the EU leaders for the protection of Polish minority rights”, G.D. posted his comment which read as follows: “All of you bastards should be strung up. <…> – You are enemies of Lithuania so <…> you got your heads smashed with a club… (Instead of <…> the culprit used a vulgar word degrading and humiliating members of the Polish minority).

Another Human Rights Report Critical Towards Lithuania

midrfOn 6 December of this year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation published an unprecedented document – a report on obeying human rights legislation in the European Union. Russia is not usually associated with obeying these rights – in fact, the largest number of complaints filed to the European Court of Human Rights come from Russia. Furthermore, Russia has the highest number of ECtHR lost cases. Nevertheless, the Russian Ministry of the Interior decided to scrutinize the situation of human rights in particular member states of the European Union.

Deprivation of liberty for an internet comment

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) welcomes another court order issued against the author of an offensive comment on the grounds of motions filed by EFHR to the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The Court of Alytus district municipality (Alytaus rajono apylinkės teismas) issued a court order against an inhabitant of this district (S.Š) for the incitement to national hatred and for the humiliation of the Russian minority.