Another criminal penalty for a comment in the cyberspace
The Adminisative Court of Raseiniai ordered a criminal penalty for an inhabitant of Raseinai as punishment for a humiliating comment that publicly encouraged hatred and nationality-based discrimination. Once again we see the effects of the campaign run by the European Foundation of Human Rights concentrating on submitting claims to the prosecution service (for more info: http://en.efhr.eu/category/our-activities/wins/)
The commentary was published on an website called www.15min.lt under the title of „Polish nationalists rejected the Lithuanian invitation to friendship“ (lit. tłum. Lenkijos nacionalistai lietuvių kvietimą draugauti atmetė). The commentary‘s author wrote: „tegu eina nah… tie žydai lenkai čia mes juos atmetame, nes jie yra antri po žydų kaip sekta jie kažkokie įsigimėliai netyčinio girto orgazmo spermos liekanos“, what amounts to public taunt, contempt and encouragment of nationality-based discrimination
A.M. was penalised with a 650 Lt fine. According to the summary of the case it can be understood that the author of the commentary in question pleaded guilty and expressed his regret for his provocatory actions. He explained that at the time of writing the article he was angry and it was that anger that caused him to write an inappropriate commentary about the Polish and Jewish people. He claims, that the statement, which he made, was not intended to insult anyone
The above verdict is the 12th penalty that stemmed from the claims put forward to the prosecution service by the EFHR within its campaign aimed at putting an end to the feeling of impunity of those who without any queasiness breach others‘ dignity and encourage to deprive others of it. As per now, the Foundation submitted over 300 claims.
Through submitting claims to the authorities about unlawful comments and articles, the Foundation aims to persuade the state institutions in charge of law enforcement to notice the situation in all its seriousity and the threat that it poses. The state cannot simply ignore the increasing stream of hatred that has already reached an unprecedented scale.
The effects of our work are appreciated by the prosecution counsels themselves. The EFHR is the most active functioning Foundation in Lithuania in terms of seeking justice for authors of unlawful comments: www.efhr.eu/download/media_www/neapykanta-kurstantys-komentatoriu-2012.12.28.pdf.
The European Foundation of Human Rights would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to the bringing of justice through sending information and reports about posts, comments and articles that breach the law. Without your assisstance, the achieved success would have not been possible. We kindly encourage you to continue collaborating with us.
Translated by Kamil Szwarc within the framework of a traineeship of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.