The District Court of Vilnius City has accepted the plaintiff’s Yosef Yizhak Pines’ revised action to the defendant state enterprise Turto bankas regarding the reconstruction of Sports Hall and obliged the defendant to submit a reply. If the reply is not submitted, the court will have a right to adopt a decision in default.
The European Foundation of Human Rights reminds that a preventive action, requesting to prevent the reconstruction works in the territory of Vilnius Concert and Sports Hall that would desecrate the Old Šnipiškės (Piramont) Jewish Cemetery and the human remains under the foundations of the Hall, was submitted to the District Court of Vilnius City. Today the territory in which the Old Cemetary and the building of the Sports Hall are located is not cleaned up. All the planned works, as well as the machinery, will take place among the bones of buried people. The submitted case is a request to the court to evaluate the fact that this legal argument would not happen if the cemetery was not the cemetery of the religious and ethnic Jewish minority but a Catholic cemetery.
In the opinion of EFHR, who is coordinating the case, this case is one of the examples that proves that it is necessary to maintain international standards. The old age of the cemetery, its obvious abandonment and its state does not reduce the duty of the state to ensure adequate protection for the Jewish cemeteries, burial places and to save the mass grave sites.