A pecuniary fine for two derogatory comments

Another sentence of the court for the author of an offending commentary published on the Internet proves that even the anonymously made offenses can lead to serious consequences. Commonly known freedom of speech had its limits, as in the case of offenses given publicly. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) campaign against abusive comments…

www.lrytas.lt editorial office amends article following EFHR claim

On the 30th of July 2013 webpage lrytas.lt (www.lrytas.lt) has posted an article titled “J. Panka brave against gay men, but not against Polish hooligans”, in which the potential behaviour of polish football club Lech Poznań supporters and the members of the Lithuanian Nationalist Youths Association before the second round of UEFA Europa League match…

Encouraging physical violence still taking place in the cyberspace?

The campaign ran by the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) against insulting comments on the internet has so far been successful and led to yet another warrant. The regional court of Alytaus (Alytaus rajono apylinkės teismas) has given an order against V.L. for public encouragement of physical violence and aggression on racial background that…

The EFHR wins two cases against the SKVC

After several months of a lively correspondence, The Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC – Studijų kokybės vertinimo centras) acknowledged the arguments of the European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), which referred to recognize the validity of the academic degree. Two graduates faced the problem of rejection of official recognition of their foreign…

A comment on Facebook can also be liable to a penalty

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has received a notification concerning the fact that the author of an insulting comment was ordered the injunction on the basis of the application submitted to the General Prosecutor’s Office. The district court of Vilnius (Vilniaus miesto apylinkės teismas) required the injunction for Saulius Ž. for the public…

Absurd argumentation of State Inspectorate of Language does not surprise anymore

“The present Lithuanian system of spelling foreign names and surnames according to how they sound is anachronistic and idiotic,” claims Egidijus Kūris – a lawyer, a prominent constitutional law expert, and the former president of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (2002-2008). Still, however, the State Inspectorate of Language (Valstybinė kalbos inspekcija) arbitrarily…

EFHR still fights hate speech in the Internet

The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has received information about one more criminal order being issued for the author of an offensive comment, based on the Foundation’s applications directed to the General Prosecutor’s Office. The court of the Skuodo district (Skuodo rajono apylinkės teismas) has issued the third criminal order for A.V. for public…

Freedom House changes its report about Lithuania on EFHR’s application

Thanks to efforts of the European Foundation for Human Rights (EFHR) one of the world’s biggest organisations for democracy, Freedom House, has changed its report from the current year. In the report on Lithuania, which is available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2013/lithuania the fragment “The rights of ethnic minorities, who comprise about 16 percent of the population, are…

Court admits that EFHR is right in argument with Equal Treatment Controller’s Service

The decision of the Equal Treatment Controller’s Service (ETCS) is contradictory to its aims and tasks. Therefore, in an obvious way, it has violated its competence. This is what results from the decision of the District Administrative Court in Vilnius, taken on May 6th 2013. Thus, the Court has positively considered the complaint sent by…

Another success of EFHR – 3 criminal cases won

The freedom of speech is guaranteed in the legal system of each democratic country and in international documents. However, some limitations are often imposed on it, like for instance in the case of offending other people publically. The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), in its fight against offensive comments in the Internet succeeds more…

Apple is not always an apple and Kowalski is not always Kowalski

According to rules of the game of connotations, in which we have to tell a word that comes to our mind when we hear another word, the majority of us, for the set that will be presented in a moment, would say: Cashmere – a geographic region or a kind of fabric, an apple is…

Running away from inconvenient facts

On numerous occasions we at EFHR have informed readers about the petition submitted by Mr Tomasz Snarski on the 31st of March 2011, titled “Language rights of Poles in Lithuania”. The petition regarded the main problems on the subject of language rights of the Polish minority – that is, the spelling of names and forenames, labelling settlements or streets in…

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…

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…

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…