On 18 August, 2011 European Foundation of Human Rights reported a dozen or so cases of the initiation of criminal proceedings to Prosecutor’s Office of Lithuania against people who called for the acts against the law in their Internet comments. These comments referred in a contemptuous, humiliating and insulting way to national minorities among Lithuanian citizens, and especially to those of Polish minority. The legal basis for the report of the initiation of criminal proceedings is art. 170 (act 2 and 3) of the Penalt Code which penalizes the incitement against any nation, race, ethnical, religious or any other group of people.
As we understand it, the authors of these Internet comments expressed their opinions about national minorities in a way which transgressed the allowed norms of expressing one’s convictions which were specified by international agreements and ratified by the Republic of Lithuania, European Foundation of Human Rights along with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. The reports of the initiation of criminal proceedings were prepared by European Foundation of Human Rights, the aim of which is to promote civic activity and to strive for respecting the law of marginalized social groups on account of their ethnical descent, social status, religion or gender.
The aim of this campaign is to end the feeling of impunity of all those who without any inhibitions and oppositions destroy the sense of dignity of the others and call for taking their lives. European Foundation of Human Rights, apart from that, would like government agencies which are responsible for abiding the law to notice the importance of this situation and related risks. The State shall not observe the increasing wave of hatred on such a great scale without taking any measures. As history illustrates, the way from a word to an act is sometimes very short.
European Foundation of Human Rights