Archive for July, 2014

EFHR lecture at the Summer Forum

EFHR lecture at the Summer Forum

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
On July 28 2014 in Sudeikiai, the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) had the honour to give a lecture at the 5-day celebration of the Students Association in Lithuania – “Summer Forum ’14, Colourful day – Significant tomorrow”. At the meeting, volunteers, the deputy mayor of Utena, Mr Vidmantas Valinčius, and guests of students associations in Slovakia and Ireland gave their speeches. The representative of EFHR at the Summer Forum gave a lecture on the fight against discrimination on the Internet since the accession of Lithuania to the European Union and the changes...
EFHR launches a new project with Erasmus +

EFHR launches a new project with Erasmus +

Posted on July 29, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) would like to announce that the project “Youth for Human Rights”, submitted by the Foundation as part of the promotional campaign “Youth mobility” in the programme Erasmus +, has been accepted. The competition was tough, because the contest was entered by 116 organizations operating in Lithuania. EFHR managed to be among the 59 organizations that have gone through a gruelling process of selection. This is undoubtedly a huge success for the Foundation. As a result, since September this year as a part of the project, EFHR...
The results of the Lithuanian language exam between 2008-2013

The results of the Lithuanian language exam between 2008-2013

Posted on July 27, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
2013 was the first year that secondary school graduates from the schools of national minorities had to pass the unified Lithuanian language exam, like graduates from schools working in the Lithuanian language. The policy, which national minorities opposed, was introduced in the new Law of education accepted by Parliament on 17 March 2011. In February 2013, the minister for Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania issued a regulation according to which there were to be concessions during the Lithuanian language exam for those who graduate from the schools of national minorities. ...
EFHR report on implementation of human rights in Lithuania in 2012-2013

EFHR report on implementation of human rights in Lithuania in 2012-2013

Posted on July 25, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
On the 24th July 2014, representatives of the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) presented a report: ”Implementation of human rights in Lithuania 2012-2013 (Lithuanian National Minorities’ Rights)”. It was presented during a press conference for the biggest press agency of the Baltic countries ”Baltic News Service”. While preparing the report, EFHR aimed at cross-sectoral depiction of the current situation regarding human rights in Lithuania, particularly with respect to Lithuanian membership of the EU as well as in other international organizations, such...
President Dalia Grybauskaitė wants to protect Lithuanian culture and language, ignoring Lithuania's international obligations

President Dalia Grybauskaitė wants to protect Lithuanian culture and language, ignoring Lithuania’s international obligations

Posted on July 23, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
The recent events that occurred in Lithuania prove how much the country is afraid of its national minorities. The issue of spelling names and surnames in passports of citizens of the European Union still has not been solved, similarly to the issue of bilingual signs, which was removed from the draft Law on National Minorities on July 17, 2014. What is more, the draft itself was removed from the Seimas’ agenda multiple times. Further, the President of Lithuania seems intent on adding fuel to the fire. At her meeting with ambassadors of Lithuania, the President expressed her opinion on...
Disadvantageous changes to the Constitutional draft law on the State Language

Disadvantageous changes to the Constitutional draft law on the State Language

Posted on July 20, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
Currently, in Lithuania, the law on the State Language (Valstybinės kalbos įstatymas), adopted January 31, 1995, according to signs in the Republic of Lithuania, must be written in the state language. Inscriptions in other languages can only be displayed for tourism purposes, but in other languages their size cannot be larger than the same sign in Lithuanian. This is regulated more specifically by the resolution of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language (Valstybinė lietuvių Kalbos komisija) from the 8th November 2012, which concerns presenting public information in a non-state...
Starting from 2015 a passport will become a document that confirms national identity

Starting from 2015 a passport will become a document that confirms national identity

Posted on July 18, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
„Who are you?” – The answer for this question will soon be displayed on the front page of newly issued passports of citizens of The Republic of Lithuania. On 10th July of this year the Parliament accepted the amendment to the Passport Regulation (Lietuvos Respublikos paso įstatymas), which introduces the possibility to include a citizen’s nationality in their passport, following a citizen submitting a written request. Some 56 members of the parliament voted for the amendment, 11 were against, and 24 refrained from voting. The amendment does not concern Identity...
Amendments for the Bill of National Minorities accepted

Amendments for the Bill of National Minorities accepted

Posted on July 17, 2014 by admin
There is no act on national minorities in Lithuania since 2010. Discussion of the bill’s premise was listed for deliberations and cancelled at the last moment numerous times. On 17th July 2014 important decisions were taken on that matter, however, the decisions differed from the previous arrangements.  In the last sitting in the spring session, the Lithuanian Parliament [Seimas] accepted the Bill of National Minorities and crossed out the previous premise concerning establishing bilingual street signs in towns and cities where a great number of people belong to minority groups.  82...
New trainee at the European Foundation of Human Rights

New trainee at the European Foundation of Human Rights

Posted on July 16, 2014 by admin
Ania Książczak is a 5th year’s law student at Mikołaj Kopernik University in Toruń. Among her subjects of interest are human rights, international law and EU law. Her greatest achievement as a student was her participation in the 5th World Human Rights Moot Court and going to RSA to the final of this contest. Apart from her studies, Ania is also an involved as a volunteer  i.a. of the Polish Humanitarian Organization, where she works with foreigners and refugees and leads educational activities in this field as well. Ania has chosen the European Foundation of Human Rights...
Foreign personal names will be able to be adjusted to the original spelling

Foreign personal names will be able to be adjusted to the original spelling

Posted on July 15, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
On the 15th July 2014, in the 1st reading at the Seimas, two projects related to the Law on the Spelling of Surnames in the  Identity Documents of the Lithuanian Citizens were accepted. It is hoped that these will be beneficial not only for the members of national minorities urging to be able to regain the original spelling of their surnames, but also for the spouses and children of foreigners incessantly struggling with the difficulties connected with proving either their identity or a civic relationship with the other person. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) reminds all...
Take part in an international competition!

Take part in an international competition!

Posted on July 14, 2014 by Krystyna Wojciukiewicz
Join us to speak out against hate speech! Enter an international photo competition devoted to the European Day of Action against Islamophobia and Religious Intolerance, which will take place on  the 21th September 2014. Everyone interested can enter the competition by sending their photos connected with religious diversity and tolerance. The winner will be awarded with a 300 Euros shopping coupon and the possibility to get involved in one of the actions organized by the European Council. If you are between the ages of 13 and 30, do not hesitate to send your work before the 1st...
Bilingual street signs in the regions of Vilnius and Soleczniki - removed, in Kaunas - present for centuries

Bilingual street signs in the regions of Vilnius and Soleczniki – removed, in Kaunas – present for centuries

Posted on July 11, 2014 by admin
www.lrytas.lt According to Lithuanian law, bilingual street signs hung in the streets are unlawful, which is against international constraints accepted by Lithuania while ratifying the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. The Law on the State Language (Valstybinės kalbos įstatymas), in the 17th Art., unequivocally states that, in the Republic of Lithuania, public signs shall be in the state language. Therefore, any people hanging such signs on their houses are to be financially punished, as was the case of the Šalčininkų Region Local Government Administrative...
New trainee at the European Foundation of Human Rights

New trainee at the European Foundation of Human Rights

Posted on July 08, 2014 by admin
Beata Bielawska is a second year student of International Relations at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. The course covers many topics, but the subject of human rights is a major part of the programme, which is the reason why Beata is familiar with human rights laws and issues. Beata tries to gain knowledge not only from her studies but also from other forms of activity. In April of this year, she became the head of the International Relations Students Research Group at Jagiellonian University, which organizes conferences, debates and meetings concerning important socio-political...
XXVI Touristic Rally of Poles in Lithuania is over

XXVI Touristic Rally of Poles in Lithuania is over

Posted on July 07, 2014 by admin
This year, the annual Touristic Rally of Poles in Lithuania took place on the 5th and 6th  of July in the’ ‘Azuolyne” amusement park of  Trakai District Municipality. The European Foundation of Human Rights’ (EFHR) members also attended the event to inform the participants about the Foundation’s activities as well as about the free legal aid provided by EFHR. Furthermore, the EFHR’s tent offered free educational books (like the textbook ” Poles, Europeans, Citizens”), information materials and leaflets about human rights and the rights of national...
EFHR celebrates the 70th anniversary of ''The Gate of Dawn'' military operation

EFHR celebrates the 70th anniversary of ”The Gate of Dawn” military operation

Posted on July 06, 2014 by admin
Between the 6th and 13th of July, the 70th anniversary of ”The Gate of Dawn” military operation was held in Vilnius. On Sunday the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) took the opportunity to meet historically-important people and guests of the House of Polish Culture, with Jerzy Karpowicz’s photographic exhibition ”Places of National Memory within the Vilnius Region” being officially opened. Continuing the activities aimed at educating and informing society about human rights, the Foundation prepared its stand in the House of the Polish Culture, offering...
Record-breaking punishment for a comment urging for national hatred among EFHR's victories

Record-breaking punishment for a comment urging for national hatred among EFHR’s victories

Posted on July 04, 2014 by admin
For years, the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has been running a campaign based on monitoring the Internet and looking for contents  based on discrimination and hatred. In total, the number of our won law-suits amounts to 40, but none of these can be compared to the verdict reached by the District Court of the Mariampolis Region. For urging national hatred, this time towards the citizens of the Polish nation, V.V.- a Lithuanian citizen, has to pay 3900 Lt. On the information portal www.lrytas.lt, under the article ”Warsaw nationalists will go to defend the Polish people...
Suggested amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public

Suggested amendments to the Law on Provision of Information to the Public

Posted on July 03, 2014 by admin
A crucial part of the European Foundation of Human Rights’ (EFHR) activities is the monitoring of the rule of law and  legal changes in the Republic of  Lithuania. Recently, EFHR observes with concern the amendments to the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public ct (lt. Visuomenės informavimo įstatymas), which suggests obligating TV broadcasters to screen the works of Lithuanian authors for the majority of the time. The introduction of such a rule would undeniably support national art and positively influence the development of Lithuanian art. However, it also entails a...