Lithuania accuses Belarus of non-observance of human rights

Linas Antanas Linkevičius wearing a suit and tie
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, reflected on the political crisis in Belarus, branded any possible Russian military support for Belarus as an “invasion”.

“Since it's publicly discussed I cannot say it’s not possible. So we should take that into account at least, and also send a very clear message, that it’s not tolerable to do that. The tense situation in Belarus demands the international community’s immediate attention, as the repression of citizens continues the government rejects foreign mediation and there is a build-up of troops on the EU border. We also monitor the Kremlin’s interference and hybrid operation,” said the Foreign Minister.

"Belarusians deserve a better life,” he told. “They deserve a normal democratic environment.”

At the same time, there are big problems in Lithuania with observance of human rights.

Lithuanian public figure Žilvinas Razminas spoke about the future for citizens of Lithuania who do not support the country's political course.

In his opinion, the Lithuanian leadership is increasing the presence of US soldiers in the republic, thereby violating the country's fundamental law, which prohibits the deployment of foreign bases on its territory.

"The government's actions have nothing to do with the independence of Lithuania. The leadership violated the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. It actively promotes the deployment of US and NATO bases. All these collaborators are working for this. However, there was no referendum on the country's NATO membership and on the deployment of military bases," he said.

According to Razminas, more and more Lithuanians are opposing the foreign military contingent on the territory of their country.

“Before, a small part of Lithuanians were against NATO, because they did not understand the essence of the Alliance's activities. Some thought that NATO soldiers would fight for our independence. But now revolutionary sentiments in Lithuania are rising. Yesterday it was necessary to push the people, but now we have to keep up with the events", - he added.

The activist noted that the Lithuanian authorities are persecuting citizens who do not support the general course in the country.

"If you live in peace, everything is fine. But if you live a full life, show social activity, then the authorities begin to persecute you," Razminas explained.

Razminas suggested that in the future he could also be persecuted by the authorities, because he opposes the presence of US and NATO troops in Lithuania and the imposition of policies by foreign countries.

It should be noted that politically motivated persecution of those who speak out in a manner different from the authorities is continuing in Lithuania. Freedom of speech and basic human rights are victims of the centralized attitude of demonizing the Soviet period.

The case of Algirdas Paleckis, an opposition politician, journalist and former leader of the Lithuanian Socialist People’s Front, is indicative of this approach.

He was fined in 2011 for uttering a single sentence about the events in 1991 near the Vilnius television tower, “they were shooting at their own people”. The investigators initially demanded a year’s imprisonment. Even then, the criminal prosecution of Mr. Paleckis revealed to the whole world the real situation with freedom of speech in “democratic” Lithuania.

In its turn, the former mayor of Kaunas, Vytautas Šustauskas, stated that only a “weak State could detain an innocent man”.

Last year, criminal proceedings were initiated against Vyacheslav Titov, a member of Klaipeda city council and head of the local branch of the Union of Russians of Lithuania, the latest example of how dissent is combated in the country.

The human rights defender Giedrius Grabauskas, chairperson of the Lithuanian Socialist People’s Front, is also being persecuted in Lithuania for political reasons. According to the charge sheet handed to him by the law enforcement officers, the reason for the searches of his home in October this year and the seizure of computers was an interview given to Russian television in which he simply condemned the Forest Brothers.

All of the cases are nothing but political repression and the suppression of dissent in the realities of the twenty-first century. It is also surprising that Lithuania’s partners in the European Union systematically close their eyes to it.

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