Hate Speech in Lithuania

April 21, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: N/A
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Hate Speech

in Lithuania Frequently Asked Questions (Faq ) I n for m at ion a l G u i de

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Publication prepared by: Natalija Bitiukova Design: Darius Abromaitis, Egidijus Butkus (www.imago.lt) Photos: Istockphoto, Stock.Xchng Translation: Synergium Editorial board: Henrikas Mickevičius, Dovilė Šakalienė, Jūratė Guzevičiūtė, Mėta Adutavičiūtė Year of publication: 2011 (Updated in 2013)

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Contents About the Human Rights Monitoring Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 About the Publication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 What Hate Speech is? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 How Hate Speech Manifests Itself in Lithuania?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 What Liability for Hate Speech is Provided for in the Lithuanian Legislation?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 What Hate Speech Laws in Other Countries are?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Can the Words Be Dangerous? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Does the Criminal Liability for the Expression of Opinion Infringes on the Freedom of Expression?. . . . . . . . . . . 21 Who Can Incur Liability for Hate Speech in Lithuania?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Are Hate Crimes and Hate Speech the Same Thing?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 I Have Encountered Hate Speech. What Should I Do?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Where Can I Find More Information?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

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About the Human Rights Monitoring Institute Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI) is an independent non-governmental organization founded in 2003. Its mission is to promote an open democratic society through the consolidation of human rights and freedoms. The Institute carries out daily monitoring of public authorities’ and the courts’ activity, publicly responds to actual or potential human rights violations, conducts research, provides conclusions and recommendations, initiates strategic litigation, organizes campaigns and events aimed at increasing the public awareness and understanding of human rights. Priority areas of action: the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia and other manifestations of intolerance and discrimination, the right to respect for private life, including the protection of personal data and privacy protection in cyberspace, the right to a fair trial, including judicial authority organization and functioning, the rights of the persons living in the closed institutions including, primarily, the patients of mental health institutions and orphanages or other specialized educational institutions.

About the Publication “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it” (George Bernard Shaw, “Man and Superman”)

In recent years, public discussion about the hate speech has intensified. Successful legislative initiatives to ban public denial of genocide and the Soviet aggression perpetrated against Lithuania and the first lawsuits have caused ambiguous response. Each month, the media reports on cases opened against Internet commenters. Such articles are accompanied by the new wave of hatred and discontent regarding the restriction of the freedom of expression. This informational guide is aimed at answering the questions that a number of journalists and other people who encounter the phenomenon of intolerance and hatred face. What hate speech is, and how is it expressed in Lithuania? Is Lithuania the only state to restrict its citizens’ right to freedom of expression? Can the right of expression be limited in the first place? Who are targeted by demeaning words, and who those commenters behind anonymous nicknames usually are? How should one respond to the incident of hate speech? “Hate Speech in Lithuania: FAQ” seeks to provide answers to those and many other questions. We express our acknowledgements to Dr. Indrė Isokaitė and the Prosecutor of the Lithuanian General Prosecutor’s Office Rimvydas Valentukevičius for the contribution to this informational guide. We will appreciate any comments and feedback from our readers.

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