A major step forward in the fight against the hatred on the grounds of nationality

Despite unfavourable commentators, the European Foundation of Human Rights can be proud of its next victory. The deputy of the Principal Procurator of Šiauliai County, Šiauliai district, accepted the judgement concerning the complaint of Paweł Nowikiewicz, a lawyer cooperating with the Foundation, of the suspension of the investigation. Consequently, the investigation will be resumed. 

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.

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 ).

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2011 by the Vilnius County Administrative Court (for more information see http://www.efhr.eu/2011/12/23/the-court-rescinded-the-inspector‘s-penalty-for-wilnoteka-pl/?lang=en).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.  

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

The European Parliament considers the rights of the Polish minority in Lithuania to be a very important matter. Below is Mr. Tomasz Snarski’s account of the Committee on Petitions’ meeting.

The European Parliament Committee on Petitions has held a meeting on the 24th of April 2012 during which the petition submitted by Mr. Tomasz Snarski, in regards to the polish minority’s language rights in Lithuania, was discussed. The European Foundation of Human Rights supported Mr. Snarski’s case (more information can be found here: http://www.efhr.eu/2011/09/15/fundacja-rusza-z-poparciem-dla-inicjatywy-tomasza-snarskiego/). The…

Another punishment for the comments.

District Court of the region Šiauliai issued a writ against one of the inhabitants of Šiauliai region Virgiljus Putramentas for inciting racial hatred calling for discrimination on the national origin grounds and humiliating commentary on the basis of the EFPCz motion directed to The General Prosecutor’s Office 3rd of August 2011. (click here to read about the first punishment: http://www.efhr.eu/2012/03/15/first-penalty-for-comments/?lang=en)

The author was punished for his first commentary on the article about the building work in Warsaw. ‘šūdlenkiams stato, tiem kurie nepajėgs išmokti lietuviškai.’ (transl. ‘they build for shitty-Poles, who cannot learn Lithuanian.’ The author was punished by a fine of 130 Lt.

March of freedom or march of independence?

On Sunday, 11th March, on the day of the independence of the Lithuanian state, two marches took place in Vilnius: one under the slogan “Lithuania for Lithuanians, second, alternative one “We celebrate the freedom”. Two completely different marches, under the flag of one country; Many people were happy to hear that the march of freedom is organised, which was named as an alternative to the nationalistic march and it was associated with slogans against racism, discrimination etc. However, only three colours and independence slogans dominated, and nothing about the equality. One can only be satisfied that the march had no aggression, it was rather creative and was giving the feeling of unity. The question is to whom?

A petition of the European Foundation of Human Rights

 A petition of the European Foundation of Human Rights, reference number 1008/2011, against gathering and processing of data revealing ethnic origin by the Republic of Lithuania, as well as issues raised in it were considered admissible according to the Rules of the European Parliament. That is why the Commission of Petitions initiated its consideration. Below, you can find the text of the above mentioned petition and the response of the chairman of the Commission of Petitions. We are waiting for further information from Brussels.

The court rescinded the Inspector‘s penalty for Wilnoteka.lt

efhr_wilnoteka_logo

December 22, 2011. The Vilnius County Administrative Court revoked the penalty of an admonition imposed by the Inspector of Journalistic Ethics on a web portal Wilnoteka.lt for publishing the article “In defence of Polish schools in Lithuania”. The complaint about Wilnoteka was lodged by Kazimieras Garšva, the president of “Vilnija” association, who accused the web portal of misleading society about the actual state of Polish education in Lithuania and stirring up the national feuds. In the article Wilnoteka published the open letter and the petition submitted to Lithuanian and Polish authorities by Forum of Parents from the Polish schools in Lithuania. Wilnoteka provided the letter and the petition with their own commentary and editors’ opinion. The web portal also called for signing the open letter. The Inspector decided that Wilnoteka violated the journalistic ethics by presenting the information in a partial and superficial way as well as by omitting the arguments in support of the amendment to the educational law in Lithuania.

European Foundation of Human Rights sends 3 more petitions to Brussels

On Wednesday, September 28th, EFHR sent 3 petitions to the following European institutions: European Parliament and European Commission. The petitions were against: Processing of personal data revealing ethnic origin Educational Law, which discriminates against minorities in Lithuania Limiting the rights of the Polish minority in Lithuania (support of the complaint of Tomasz Snarski) (full text…

European Foundation of Human Rights declared full support for Mr. Snarski’s initiative

The European Foundation of Human Rights expressed its full appreciation for an initiative of assistant lecturer at the Department of Criminal Material and Executive Law and Judicial Psychiatry at the University of Gdańsk – Mr. Tomasz Snarski, who has submitted at March 31, 2011 a petition to the European Parliament, which tittle was “Lingual rights…

Petition against the new Education Act which discriminates against national minorities in Lithuania

European Parliament
Comittee on Petitions

The Secretariat
Rue Wiertz
B – 1047 Bruxellles

Vice-president and Commissioner
Ms. Viviane Reding

European Commission
DG Justice
B-1049 Brussels

We demand that immediate steps be taken against the new Education Act passed on March 17th 2011 by the Lithuanian Parliament (Lietuvos Respublikos Švietimo Įstatymo Pakeitimo Įstatymas 2011 m. kovo 17 d. Number XI-1281:

a) We request the European Parliament to adopt a resolution calling upon change of laws that discriminate against national minorities, and to call upon the European Union Commission to take adequate legal action against Lithuania, pursuant to Art. 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, including filing a complaint to the Court of Justice of the European Union.