Dabar populiaru
Sužinokite daugiau
Pažymėkite klaidą tekste, pele prispaudę kairijį pelės klavišą

Human Rights Monitoring Institue: Lithuania should consider its values in helping Belarus prosecute human rights activists

Henrikas Mickevičius
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / Henrikas Mickevičius
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania should refer to its own values in making the decision on Belarus' request to help investigate the state border violation during the teddy-bear stunt, as Alexander Lukashenko's regime oulaws any actionsby human rights activists to act legally, Henrikas Mickevičius, head of the Vilnius-based Human Rights Monitoring Institute, thinks.

He draws attention to the fact that the bilateral treaty between Lithuania and Belarus states that legal assistance is not provided if that runs counter to the main principles of the state's laws.

"This provision should be evaluated from our point of view and not from that of Belarus'. If we believe that providing information or any other legal assistance will run counter to principles and values enshrined in our Constitution, and the protection of human rights is one of the main ones, then we cannot provide information or other assistance," Mickevičius told BNS.

Last week, Lithuania's Prosecutor General's Office received Belarus' legal assistance request to help investigate a state border violation when a Swedish plane crossed the Lithuanian-Belorussian border on 4 July. Swedish activists working for a PR company airdropped a thousand of teddy-bears with pro-democratic messages.

Prosecutors on Thursday refused to comment on how Lithuania plans to respond to the Belorussian request, saying that "legal assistance requests are meant for mutual communication and help between proper state institutions."

Mickevičius says such actions, breaking formal legal limits in non-democratic countries or countries ignoring the principle of the rule of law, might be justified.

"In a democratic country based on the rule of law, one should act in the framework of laws and the political system, and only in exceptional cases acts of disobedience are possible if the standards of democracy and the rule of law are ignored," the head of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute said.

"It's a totally different situation if we talk about countries which are clearly non-democratic, not based on the rule of law and which violate human rights. In that case the scope of actions of human rights organizations is much wider as achieving something legally looking from the regime's point of view is impossible. The regime denies opportunities to the civil sector to express its opinion and criticize someone. So actions exceeding legal limits are justified as the ultimate goal is greater and justifies the means. So if we talk about limits in this case, we should be talking about morality and not the law," Mickevičius said.

Asked specifically about the teddy-bear stunt, Mickevičius said" I am inclined to justify it."

The Belorussian authorities initially denied the fact such a flight took place. But after less than a month, President Alexander Lukashenko sacked the commander of the country's Air Force and ordered the Swedish ambassador out of the country. Belarus also officially sent a legal assistance request to the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office asking for help in investigating the incident.

Earlier this week, the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service launched a pre-trial investigation, controlled by the Prosecutor General's Office, into the incident.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
Pažymėkite klaidą tekste, pele prispaudę kairijį pelės klavišą
Report mistake

Report mistake

Successfully sent

Thank you