Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Political repression in Lithuania is an everyday occurrence. But the latest events became a sensation even for our country, namely: a series of searches and mass arrests among anti-fascists.
The case of Zagurskas
For example, in the spring of 2018 law enforcement bodies secretly arrested the well-known blogger Simonas Zagurskas in Palanga. During a week’s stay in prison the blogger was charged with writing articles devoted to the events of January 13th 1991, during which, according to Simonas, the Lithuanian fighters Čeponis, Grainys, and others killed local residents. As is said in the article, the militants were led by representatives of the CIA, wrote the human rights activist Giedrius Grabauskas writes for Baltnews.lt.
As a result Zagurskas was condemned, he is obliged to pay a penalty of €3700 for dissent.
However, the arrests concerning this case didn’t end, but on the contrary — they became more active. The other day charges were brought to the politician and former leader of the Socialist People’s Front Algirdas Paleckis and his colleagues, and also the well-known historian Valery Ivanov.
The case of Rakauskienės
If to look at the other recent actions of the Lithuanian law enforcement bodies, the following cases stand out among them: in January 2016 the activist Socialist People’s Front Skaistai Rakauskienės who, as is known, actively fought against drug trafficking, was secretly arrested. After she was kept in an insulation room for 24 hours, Skaistai was sent to a high security psychiatric clinic.
I and my colleagues Juodiska, Šulcas, Lapinskas-Volkovas, and other not indifferent people fought for the rights of Rakauskienės. As a result in a year all charges against her were dropped, and Skaistai was allowed to go home. Unfortunately, the poor health of the woman couldn’t carry the moral burden of persecution and arrest. A week later after being released Skaistai Rakauskienės died in her apartment.
The case of Minkevičius and Gorbatenkov
New repression covers more and more Lithuanians. Thus, for example, it became clear that members of the Socialist People’s Front were arrested: the board member of the organisation Andrey Gorbatenkov and the businessman Leonas Minkevičius. There is also information that there are two more women behind bars, however the names of other arrested people still remains unknown.
Gorbatenkov was released from prison two days later. Lithuanian law enforcement bodies carried out a search in his apartment and confiscated many personal belongings, including computers and phone.
Minkevičius is still behind bars. He was the board member of the organisation in 2009-2012 and participated in elections to the Seimas of Lithuania. Minkevičius is the son of the eminent philosopher and professor Jokūbas Minkevičius and has been acquainted with Algirdas Paleckis and other well-known anti-fascists for a long time.
The case of Paleckis
In all this story of barbarous political repression, the position of a narrow circle of people who knew about the secret arrest of Algirdas Paleckis but decided to be silent is surprising. One of them is his brother Rimvydas.
He stated: “At the time I warned Algirdas that he was going along the wrong way. I knew about the arrest, but was silent in order to not interfere with the investigation”. Of course, such a position for a brother is very favorable to special services for the purpose of carrying out political repression.
Paleckis has been in prison since November, however he still doesn’t have a normal lawyer, and the state of health of the politician remains doubtful. After all, if the person was arrested secretly, it is possible to torture them and use other illegal measures of pressuring him.
Case of Grabauskas and colleagues
Since the spring of 2014, after the coup in Ukraine, the Lithuanian special services started to work more rigidly. Thus, in January 2015 a criminal case concerning 11 Lithuanian citizens who are members of the Socialist People’s Front, the movement “We Will Be United”, and other organisations was opened. In the course of a series of judicial proceedings both I and my colleagues Oleg Titorenko, Vaidas Lekstutis, and others were under investigation.
On December 20th I received an official document according to which I was forbidden from using the entrance to the building of the Seimas of Lithuania. This is another trick of the Lithuanian special services. Recently the Supreme Court acquitted me, having put an end to a long political process, however the special services in this or that way continue to spoil my life. It is with regret that I declare that other Lithuanian anti-fascists – Titov, Orlov, Šulcas, Janisius – are also in the crosshairs of the special services.
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