A restriction on freedom for one year for the comment in the Internet
The fact that an offender cannot avoid the punishment is one of the basic rules of the criminal law. It is said that sooner or later the citizen will be punished for a committed offence. The European Foundation of Human Rights patiently adhere to this principle. While alarming the appropriate institutions about the infringement of human rights, the Foundation was informed about another warrant for an offensive comment`s author who is interested in a crowd psychology, propaganda and counter – propaganda.
The Vilnius district court [Vilniaus miesto apylinkės teismas] issued a warrant for K.Š. for a public instigating the people to racial hatred and for inciting to the ethnic discrimination towards the Polish minority.
The comment was published on the informative website www.lrytas.lt . The author “encourages” to use the racial violence. He mentions that polish nation, as an indefinable creature, cannot exist and claims that he would leave the Poles alive in the Cracow district, but till the Vistula there are Baltic areas. The comment was ended with the sentence: “The Poles are Slavic parasite that should be destroyed”.
In the second comment, which was also published on the website lrytas.lt , the author presents his dissatisfaction, discriminating the Polish nationality. He comments on the fragment of an article from Kurier Wileński “Vilnius region was, is and will be Polish. The time of Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union is over”.
In his further comment he still refers to the connections with the Polish nation:
“ The Lithuanian were able to destroy the Jews that were sponging here(…) we`ll also destroy the shitty Poles, there is enough place for them in the ditches in Ponary (…)
The author`s output, full of blasphemous and provocative arguments, was justly stopped. Interesting is also the author`s relationship to the correctness of his comments – he claims that his texts were supposed to be a counter – propaganda to the propaganda lead by Poland. Author perceives himself as a real patriot and the offence that he committed was not intended. However, the punishment inflicted by court is a proof that the comments themselves were supposed to make the readers discriminate and use violence towards the Polish minority. The same motion was received by the Inspectors of the Journalistic Ethics Code , declaring that it is exhorting to act against the ethnic group.
The author was punished with the restriction on freedom for a year, a ban on change of residence and with no entry to the publish café internet. Moreover, the court obliged him not to leave the place of residence between 22 and 6.
It is already the 17th punishment for the comments on the basis of the European Foundation of Human Rights (Foundation sent them already over 350) for tabling a motion to the AttorneyGeneral’sOffice [prokuratura] within the frame of campaign that has been carried out for a year. The campaign`s aim is to stop the impunity of those who destroy others` dignity.
Through delivering the motions for acting against the law to the authorities, the Foundation would like to lead to the fact that the authorities that are responsible for obeying the law, start to realize the importance of the situation and the threat connected with it. The nation cannot observe idly the hatred increasing on an unprecedented scale.
The results of our job are appreciated by the prosecutors. The European Foundation of Human Rights is the most active foundation in Lithuania within the scope of “hunting for” the offensive comments.
The Foundation would like to thank everyone who informs us about the comments breaching the law. But for your help, this success wouldn`t have been possible. We encourage you to further cooperation.
Tłumaczenie by Barbara Toczek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Barbara Toczek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.