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, who under the nickname of “Katastrofijus” published an insulting commentary encouraging hatred and discrimination on nationality basis. The comment read: “Katastrofijus” napisał poniżający komentarz, publicznie podżegający do nienawiści, nawołujący do dyskryminacji na tle narodowościowym. Komentarz brzmiał następująco: “Užuot ir toliau filosofavus ir atkartojinėjant jau visiems žinomas tiesas, laikas atviru tekstu rašyti, kad būtina fiziškai išnaikinti vadinamą “Lietuvos lenkų tautinę mažumą” ir pagal galimybes visą lenkų tautą. Reikia ne ieškoti argumentų, o stiprių sąjungininkų, suinteresuotų Lenkijos ir lenkų tautos sunaikinimu ir būdų sukurti masinio naikinimo ginklą. (…) Mūsų kartos uždavinys – nesvarbu sąjungoje su kuo – Rusija ar Iranu – išnaikinti visus lenkus. Jau vien to, kad naikindami lietuviškus vietovardžius jie naikina Lietuvą (“pradžioje buvo žodis”), lenkai Lietuvoje nusipelnę būti visiškai sunaikinti. Dabar svarbiausias uždavinys – kurstyti tarptautinę ir tarpvalstybinę nesantaiką, kad kiekvienas būtų pasiruošęs kartoti Panerių didvyrių žygdarbius.”. That translated states: „Instead of further wandering and repeating facts that we are all familiar with, there is a need to physically destroy the so called “Polish minority in Lithuania” and as far as possible, the whole Polish nation. We need not look for arguments but instead, we need to look for strong allies who would be interested in destroting Poland and the Polish nation and also in creating weapons of mass destruction. (…) According to our generation it is not important what allie it is, Russia or Iran as long as we destroy all poles. The fact that they destroy Lithuanian settlement names and thus destroy Lithuania is enough of a reason to destroy them. Now the most important task – we shall all encourage international hatred so that everyone can replicate what the heros of Ponarow did”.
For his comment on www.alkas.lt the author was fined 910 lt. The author pled guilty in the court. He did however try to explain himself that the article to which he responed with the comment was unethical, provocative, encouraged such comments and encouraged a defensive stance to defend the motherland. With his comment he wanted to defend Lithuania’s glory, not offend anyone. It was a spontaneous response to the article.
According to the expertise of the Inspector of Journalism Ethics (Žurnalistų etikos inspektoriaus tarnyba) it was proven that the comment encourages physical violence (“there is a need to physically destroy the so called Polish minority in Lithuania and as far as possible, the whole Polish nation”) towards a national minority group – the poles. This way, the author of the comment wanted to insult the minority on nationality basis (Poles are being called ‘polish outcasts’ and jews are being called ‘parasites of the Jewish nation’).
Despite the palliation, the author admitted to the committed crime and regrets doing it. The court agreed to the prosecution counsel’s proposition and fined the charged individual 910lt.
It is worth mentioning that there have already been 10 applications made by the EFHR and submitted to the court about someone nicked “Katastrofijus”. The fine of 910lt is the largest one that the court has fined anyone this year on a matter like this. In general there have been 8 penalties in total that resulted from one of the few tens of applications that the European Foundation of Human Rights has submitted (in 2011 the Foundation submitted 25 applications about comments to the General Prosecution council and in 2012 we already sent out 78 applications) to the General Prosecution council as part of our long lasting campaign aimed at bringing justice to those who with no remorse invade other people’s dignity and who promote killing.
By submitting applications about illegal posts to the authorities, the Foundation would like to make the national law enforcement organisations aware of this problem, its seriousness and the threats that it poses. The state cannot simply stay put and watch the rising wave of hatred on a like-never-before scale. The effects of such attitude can be seen in surveys that all state that the media and politicians’ campaign that is being run against national minorities has been adopted by the society.
The European Foundation of Human Rights would also like to sincerely thank everyone who sends us information about posts that are illegal. Without your help, we wouldn’t have succeeded. We invite you to collaborate with us.
The European Foundation of Human Rights
Translated by Kamil Szwarc within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.