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.
On April 3rd 2012 the Foundation made an appeal to the Prosecution General of the Republic of Lithuania to start a pretrial investigation on the basis of Art. 170, part 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania concerning a comment on www.lrytas.lt which was an answer to Eldorad Butrim’s article titled “Warsaw nationalist come in defence of Poles”. A certain person under a pseudonym “ misa kaluginas” was an author of an insulting hateful and discriminatory comment: “Let’s gather everyone, we’ll beat Poles… Polish isn’t a nationality but a work f***, I hate…”
The Prosecution of Šiauliai County, Šiauliai district, decided to suspend the investigation. According to them, all necessary procedural steps were performed and all means were used in order to find a person responsible for this outrageous act. However, they did not manage to identify the culprit and bring them to justice. Because of that, the pretrial investigation was suspended.
The Foundation did not agree with this decision and made an official complaint to the Prosecution General. The Foundation pointed out that they had not been informed about the exact character of performed necessary pretrial actions, exact means specified by the Criminal Code performed in order to identify the culprit, the results of all performed actions. Moreover, it was unknown whether or not the law-enforcement agencies continued to look for the culprit of the outrageous act after the suspension of the investigation. The lack of this data in the legal proceedings raised doubts about the performance of all pretrial investigation actions and the identification of a person responsible for this outrageous act.
The Principal Prosecutor agreed with our arguments and decided to continue the investigation through the agency of different procedural actions in order to identify the culprit.
It is a next major step in fight against the increasing wave of hatred on the grounds of national minorities.
Through information directed to the law-enforcement agencies about various illegal comments the Foundation wants the national authorities, that are responsible for the law enforcement, to notice the importance of the situation and possible danger associated with this type of crime. The state cannot observe idly the increasing wave of hatred on a unprecedented scale. The consequences of such a attitude are visible in opinion polls that clearly show that the current campaign of the media and politicians against the national minorities has influenced Lithuanian society.
The European Foundation of Human Rights wants to express its gratitude towards all people that inform us about all illegal comments. This great success would not be possible without your help. We encourage you to cooperation.
The European Foundation of Human Rights
Translated by Karolina Rolka within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.