New year – new victories

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).

Deprivation of liberty for an internet comment

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. 

A hefty financial fine for the internet comment

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.

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.  

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

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?

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.