Another case of comments inciting hatred has been won – on October 17th 2016, The District Court of Keidainai Region have found M.J. guilty of posting the comments encouraging aggression and physical violence against Muslims – he was openly mocking, humiliating and spreading hade speech against this particular minority.
European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) in an application sent to the Prosecutor’s Office stresses that on July 18th and 19th 2016, M.J. under the pseudonym “ABONETAS”, had written two comments under the article entitled “The truth has come to light: the refugee Basir deceived Lithuania” on the website www.lrytas.lt: („Ispist ji (…*) atgal į Afganistaną sodybą jo kale be išsigimusiu vaiku. (…) tie muslikai reikalingi. Degint gyvus” bei “Grūsti (…) atgal tuos musulmonus vien už tai kad melavo. Gaidys”) – he was encouraging aggression and physical violence against Muslims and spreading hade speech against refugees. In court, M.J. admitted his guilt and he said that “he understood that what he had written was cruel, but at the moment he had been really angry that his country had decided to admit the refugees and they behaved in such a way towards Lithuania and Lithuanian people.” The defendant underlined also that he hadn’t wanted to incite hatred and he regretted committing this acts.
Upon examination of the evidence the Court has found the defendant guilty of committing the crime, because his activity was extreme and openly discriminatory. Given that the aim of the sentence is not only to punish the offender, but also to influence his behaviour in the future, the Court, on the basis of Article 170(2) and (3) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, declared a penalty of 753,2 EUR, payable within 3 months. The fine imposed, 753,2 EUR, is reduced by a third, because of the defendant’s confession and expressed regret.
In 2016, the number of petitions filed by EFHR to the Prosecutor’s Office was lower by one third compared to previous year. One of the factors who may have influenced the loss is that web portals start to feel responsible for the comments published on their sites and delete the inappropriate by themselves, During the 6 year of its activity, EFHR has filed 577 of petitions to the Prosecutor’s Office. 49 cases have been won.
* obscene word