Incitement to hatred on grounds of nationality enters the church

Recently, the European Foundation of Human Rights was positively surprised with the information that a priest defends the rights of the Polish minority in Kaunas (read more: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2012/09/21/ksiadz-litwin-broni-polakow-na-kowienszczyznie/). This is a commendable attitude. Everyone can and must act in defence of human rights, especially the Church and the clergy who represent it.

Unfortunately, the priest Vaidas Vaišvilas cast out Polish tourists from the Divine Mercy Sanctuary. Moreover, the Foundation received information that it’s not the first time when the priest showed discrimination against minority

EFHR takes legal action on throwing Polish tourists out of church

European Foundation of Human Rights has received a notification that the priest threw Polish tourists out of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Vilnius because they were not pilgrims. The situation is really unpleasant, discriminatory on grounds of nationality and humiliating human dignity and honor. According to what the media have reported, the priest threw Polish tourists out just telling them to “get out of here and go to Poland”.  

Polish names of streets are an eyesore again

The government established a special working group that developed a new plan aimed at removing the plates with Polish street names. It is planned to place these plates on special poles instead of on the buildings.

Such motives of the government will inevitably affect ethnic minorities in Lithuania, who have spent 20 years now to have street names written in two languages (i.e. Lithuanian and Polish, Belarusian or Russian) in towns densely populated by national minorities (e.g. in Vilnius).

Check your knowledge

mrgi-logo-taglineThe European Foundation of Human Rights has the pleasure of informing all interested individuals about the possibility of taking part in a free English Language course that will be held over the internet. Participation in this competition is encouraged by the Minority Rights Group International as part of the Global Agency Programme (GPP). The course is aimed at those who work in favour of national minorities in Africa, Asia or Europe. The programme‘s goal is to support representatives of national minorities and work towards utilisation of regional and international mechanisms in order to improve the quality of the mentioned groups. 

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights will change 2010 report on Lithuania

The European Foundation of Human Rights has proved that The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights had misinterpreted the results of research carried out by the Institute for Social Research.

In the response to the Foundation’s letter about the 2010 report, the Agency agreed with our notes. The Agency’s report stated that “in Lithuania, 42% of the questioned representatives of minorities said, that they experiencds difficulties on the job market because of little knowledge of the Lithuanian language.”

Racist attacks can’t be tolerated!

A month ago, ended the Games of the 2012 summer Olympiad inLondonfame several Lithuanian fans. One of them, a Lithuanian national P. L. has been sentenced to 11 thousands litas fine for that incited racial hatred, spreading monkeys imitate sounds and showing Nazi gestures.

Meanwhile, on another basketball fan cocky behavior investigation lingered, because the police still can’t find the culprit. The later interested the British media,

Don’t be afraid to speak in your native language!

The citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who declare their membership of a national minority often inform the NGO Foundation for Human Rights about infringements of their right to use their native language. Unfortunately, recent changes confirm the EFHR’s concern on the increasing number of such violations (more info: http://www.efhr.eu/2012/08/29/punishing-for-comments-gains-pace/?lang=en; http://www.efhr.eu/2012/01/06/efhr-took-notice-seriously-of-the-survey-published-in-the-issue-of-iq-on-january/?lang=en).

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

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.

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…

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.

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…