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).
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.
The European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) has once again detected the hypocrisy of contradictory legal acts and practices which concern the original spelling of names and surnames in official documents. Today dozens, if not thousands of Lithuanian citizens struggle with the problem of name spelling. According to the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language,…
The public signs in Lithuania should be written in the country’s official language (according to article 17 of the state language Act); however, to excise stamps on the goods subjected to excise duty (such as cigarettes and alcohol), car licence plates and proper names of companies this Act does not apply. That is how Vilnius…
Discrimination based on gender, age, nationality, religion, language, origin, social status or views is not only a problem for a state but also for all of us. European Foundation of Human Rights is aware of this problem and has been fighting against it by directing applications to law enforcement organizations about illegal entries in the Internet.
You can learn a lot about discrimination by reading online job offers. Authors break the law without even knowing it. European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) is deeply concerned about the traces of discrimination in the offers,
“I won’t write any more comments about Poles. I’m scared and I obviously don’t want to be sued.” (http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/rsikorskis-lietuvoje-lenku-teises-butu-beveik-pakankamos-bet-jos-silpninamos.d?id=58876573&com=1&s=2&no=200). This comment proves that the campaign led by the Foundation against offensive comments in the Internet brings the desired effects. Offensive comments are less frequent and people who write those comments admit they are scared of writing texts inciting ethnic hatred. It is like in the proverb “We learn from our mistakes”. We can proudly say that the Foundation is successful in this case.
The European Human Rights Foundation was glad to receive a piece of information concerning the fine that has been issued as for the anti-internet-violence campaign that has ran for over a year. For the first time the court of justice issued a warrant, based on the Foundation’s appeal to the General Prosecution, according to the Article 170 act 3 of the Penal Code. The warrant deals with the matter of public incitement to violence against the people of different nationality. District court in the city of Szawla issued a warrant for one of the city’s inhabitants- D.P.who, after reading the article from website www.lrytas.lt called “ Nationalists from Warsaw will come defend Poles”, published his comment: “ Give Poles back their corral, let them fight with Gypsies, so that both of the parties are gone, we don’t need these outcasts in Lithuania.” That was the way in which D.P. urged everybody to violence, to crack down people who are of different 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.
The European Foundation of Human Rights campaign on the case of inappropriate comments is still in progress
The European Foundation of Human Rights received a report that another penalty has been put on the author of one of the insulting comments, as a result of the Foundation’s application that was sent to the General Prosecution council.
On the 30th of July 2012, the Vilnius District Court made a verdict that a penalty be put on one of the inhabitants of that city, K. Š,
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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, 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.
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.
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…