Disinformation campaigns about LGBTI+ people in the EU and foreign influence (excerpt), 2021

3. Cases of disinformation, misinformation and hate speech

[..]

3.1 ‘Colonialism’ by the West

[..]

According to a RAND report (Helmut et al. 2018), Russian actors are actively engaged in disseminating disinformation to Russian speakers in the Baltics, through a variety of means including traditional and social media. According to the report, in some cases Russia has used this outreach to sow dissent against host and neighbouring governments, as well as against the EU.


Briefing paper. 02.07.2021. ISBN: 978-92-846-8347-5 (pdf) Link: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2021/653644/EXPO_BRI(2021)653644_EN.pdf

The Most Resonant Human Rights Violations in Certain Countries (excerpt), 2021

Aleksey Greichus, a social activist, leader of Russian-speaking youth organization «Yuvenus», coordinator of «Immortal Regiment» march in Klaipeda city, was detained on March 4, 2020. His place of residence was
searched. According to the information of the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Lithuania, Aleksey Greichus is accused of spying for Russia. Russian-speaking political parties and public organizations of Lithuania consider the detention of Mr. Greichus as an activists hunting and as an attempt to suppress dissent.


Document data: Foreign ministry of Belarus. 30.06.2021 Link: https://mfa.gov.by/kcfinder/upload/files/GUMDI/doklad2_eng.pdf Also available in Russian: https://mfa.gov.by/kcfinder/upload/files/Press_Service/doklad_rus.pdf

Deterring disinformation? Lessons from Lithuania’s countermeasures since 2014 (excerpts), 2021

2. Russian disinformation in
Lithuania: Context and objectives

[..]

Television remains the main information source: a 2020 survey suggested that 66 per cent of the population watch TV daily, while an additional 13 per cent watch it two to three times a week.4 Five per cent of respondents reported that they watched Russian TV daily, and another six per cent claimed to watch it two to three times a week. A 2016 survey
conducted among Lithuanian Russians and Poles suggested a sharp contrast to the general population: 57 per cent of Russians and 42 per cent of Poles said that they watched Russian television on a daily basis, while 26 per cent of Russians and 23 per cent of Poles said that they watched it several
times a week.5

4 Kojala (ed.), Geopolitikos ir tarptautinės politikos bei grėsmių suvokimo tyrimas, 46-48.
5 Vaišnys et al., Rusijos propaganda: analizė, įvertinimas, rekomendacijos, 155.

Even though the Lithuanian Russian minority is much smaller compared to the other Baltic states (around 6 per cent in Lithuania compared to around 25 per cent in Latvia and Estonia), it is still quite a sizeable target audience. As suggested, the Polish minority (around 6 per cent of the population) fall under the same target group, due to historical consequences and their media consumption habits.

[..]

Four main objectives of Russian disinformation
in Lithuania could be identified:9

  1. To create tensions between different groups in
    Lithuanian society (primarily the Lithuanian
    majority and national minorities).

9 Lietuvos Respublikos valstybės saugumo departamentas, ’Grėsmių nacionaliniam saugumui vertinimas’ Assessment of the national threats by the State Security Department, 9, https://www.vsd.lt/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Gresmiu-vertinimas-2014.pdf. Last accessed 20 April 2021.


Hybrid CoE Paper 6. April 2021. ISBN (web) 978-952-7282-70-0 Link: https://www.hybridcoe.fi/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/20210427_Hybrid-CoE-Paper-6_Deterring_disinformation_WEB.pdf

Hate crime data 2019 (Lithuania), 2020

Lithuania regularly reports hate crime data to ODIHR. Lithuania’s Criminal Code contains a combination of general and specific penalty enhancement provisions and a substantive offence. Data are collected by the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior and the Prosecutor General’s Office. Data are not made publicly available.

How hate crime data is collected

Criminal data are processed in the Departmental Register of Criminal Acts. The Register is administrated by the Ministry of the Interior. The data are provided by police officers and prosecutors when a pre-trial investigation begins or other decisions on criminal procedures are made. The judges provide data to the Register only in cases of private accusation, in which a pre-trial investigation is not carried out and a victim files a complaint and upholds an accusation in court.

There are two types of hate crimes described in the criminal code: substantive crimes with bias motivations (with specific sentencing enhancements for murder, health impairment, desecration of graves or other places of public respect, and incitement of violence); and all other crimes for which bias motivation is an aggravating circumstance that should be taken into account by the court in sentencing.

During the investigation of hate crime cases, officers entering information in the Register will mark a criminal act as likely motivated by race, nationality, religion, language, gender, descent, social status, convictions or views, sexual orientation, age and disability.

When a criminal case is referred to the court, the officer entering the decision in the Register will also indicate the bias motive of a criminal act if it has been investigated. In order to obtain data on recorded and prosecuted hate crimes, a search of the Register, filtered by indicated motives and specific paragraphs of relevant articles of the criminal code, is carried out. The data are then reviewed to ensure accuracy.

In order to obtain data on sentences for hate crimes, a search by a relevant criminal case number is carried out in the Register of Suspected, Accused and Convicted Persons for hate crimes referred to the court. The searches are performed and data reviewed by the Public Security and Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior.

Statistics on the application of aggravating circumstance provisions in sentencing are not available at the moment. A special instruction or policy document governing the process of hate crime data collection does not exist. Only official statistics on crimes recorded as “Incitement against any National, Racial, Ethnic, Religious or Other Group of Persons”, which are mostly cases of hate speech, are published on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

SELECT YEAR 2019

OFFICIAL DATA

YearHate crimes recorded by policeProsecutedSentencedAbout these data
2019910
2018742
2017943
20162067
20152454

Hate crimes recorded by police

By bias motivation

2 (1 damage to property, 1 incitement to violence)1 (incitement to violence) 4 (2 vandalism, 1 desecration of graves, 1 damage to property)2 (1 incitement to violence, 1 physical assault)
Racism and xenophobiaBias against Roma and SintiAnti-SemitismBias against other groups – Sexual orientation or gender identity

By type of crime

3 (1 Racism and xenophobia, 1 Bias against Roma and Sinti, 1 Bias against other groups – Sexual orientation or gender identity)2 (1 Anti-Semitism, 1 Racism and xenophobia)1 (Anti-Semitism)2 (Anti-Semitism)1 (Bias against other groups – Sexual orientation or gender identity)
incitement to violencedamage to propertydesecration of gravesvandalismphysical assault

Download official data

INCIDENTS REPORTED BY OTHER SOURCES

Total 19 incidents

1 (attacks against property)6 (5 – attacks against property, 1 – violent attacks against people)3 (attacks against property)2 (attacks against property)7 (2 – attacks against property, 3 – threats, 2 – violent attacks against people)
Racism and xenophobiaAnti-SemitismBias against MuslimsBias against TurkeyBias against other groups – Sexual orientation or gender identity

Kantor Center reported descriptive incidents as well as statistical data. This explains the discrepancy between the graphic above and the incidents included below.

Racism and xenophobia

DateType of incidentSourceDescription
2019-12Attacks against propertyEuropean Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR)Crosses erected in support of protests in Hong Kong at a pilgrimage site were vandalized by a group. A video of the incident shows a perpetrator damaging a cross while making xenophobic comments.

Anti-Semitism

DateType of incidentSourceDescription
2019-9Attacks against propertyKantor CenterA swastika made of flowers was placed in front of a Jewish community centre.
2019-9Attacks against propertyEuropean Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR)A Jewish community centre was vandalized with swastika graffiti.
2019-10Attacks against propertyKantor CenterAn installation commemorating the history of the local Jewish community was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.
2019-11Attacks against propertyEuropean Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR)A memorial to the Jewish community was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.
2019-11Attacks against propertyEuropean Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), Kantor CenterA synagogue entrance was vandalized with graffiti consisting of Nazi salutations.

Bias against Muslims

DateType of incidentSourceDescription
2019-9Attacks against propertyEuropean Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), SETAA mosque was burglarized when a window was broken, a door was damaged, and a donation box, laptop and video camera unit were stolen. This was one of two attacks against the mosque to occur over several months.
2019-11Attacks against propertyEuropean Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR), SETAA mosque was damaged when two stained glass windows were broken at night by a group. This was one of two attacks against the mosque to occur over several months.
2019-11Attacks against propertySETAA mosque was vandalized and had its windows broken for the second time in two months.

Bias against Christians

DateType of incidentSourceDescription
2019-5Attacks against propertyEuropean Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR)A cross was vandalized with an expletive and swastika graffiti.
2019-12Attacks against propertyHoly SeeA cross at a memorial site was vandalized and thrown away. The perpetrator filmed the incident and published the video on social media.

[..]

INTERNATIONAL REPORTS

No information is available.

KEY OBSERVATION

ODIHR observes that Lithuania has not made public reliable data and statistics on hate crimes.


Document data: published 16.11.2020. Link: http://hatecrime.osce.org/lithuania?year=2019

Antisemitism – Overview of data available in the EU 2009–2019 (excerpt), 2020

Lithuania

Official data

In 2019, the Lithuanian State Security Department (Valstybės saugumo
departamentas
) recorded five antisemitic incidents. In one case out of
these five it was possible to identify the perpetrators and initiate criminal
proceedings.

In contrast, the State Security Department recorded one antisemitic incident in 2018 (against an object related to the Jewish community). According to the data from the Prosecutor General’s Office, one pre-trial investigation was initiated in 2018 under Article 169 of the Criminal Code. This alleges discrimination of a person on the grounds of their Jewish ethnicity; it was discontinued in the absence of a criminal act.

In 2014–2017, three pre-trial investigations under Article 312(2) of the
Criminal Code were initiated. These concerned incidents where places of
public respect had been desecrated for antisemitic reasons. All of these
pre-trial investigations were discontinued because the offenders liable for
the criminal offence were not identified.63

63 UN CERD (2018), CERD/C/LTU/9-10, 23/5/2018, paras. 37–51.

The Lithuanian State Security Department recorded two antisemitic incidents in 2009 and one incident between January and July 2010.

The Prosecutor General’s Office reports on pre-trial investigations initiated
under Article 170 of the Criminal Code (incitement against any national, racial, religious or other group). In 2009, 20 % of pre-trial investigations under Article 170 involved an antisemitic motive, but the report does not provide the number of cases.64

64 Lithuania (2011), Collegiate Council of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania.

Unofficial data

No unofficial data were available at the time this report was compiled.


Document data: Published: 10.09.2020 Print ISBN 978-92-9474-993-2 Link: https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2020-antisemitism-overview-2009-2019_en.pdf

Fundamental Rights Report 2020 (excerpts), 2020

3. RACISM, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE

[..]

3.1. RACISM REMAINS A PERSISTENT PROBLEM

[..]

3.1.1. EU action against antisemitism

[..]

FRA ACTIVITY

Providing evidence to support efforts to counter antisemitism

[..]

The second report is FRA’s annual overview of the most recent
official and unofficial figures on antisemitic incidents across the EU.
It highlights that EU Member States still collect insufficient official
data. For example, no official data on reported antisemitic incidents
in 2018 were available for six Member States.

For the first time, the report also includes information on using
the non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism adopted
by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). By November 2019, 14 Member States had adopted or endorsed the definition: [..] Lithuania [..]

3.2. LEGAL AND POLICY INITIATIVES TO CURB HATE CRIME AND HATE SPEECH FALL SHORT

[..]

Besides gaps in legislation, lack of guidance for criminal justice personnel
makes it difficult to address hate crime effectively. In Lithuania, an analysis of 35 court cases from 2010–2018 on the application of criminal liability for hate crime and hate speech concluded that court practice is rather complicated without guidance on the pre-trial investigation of such crimes.39 [..]

39 Lithuania, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos vidaus reikalų ministerija) (2019), Analysis of the cases of the application of criminal liability for hate crime and hate speech (Baudžiamosios atsakomybės už neapykantos nusikaltimus ir neapykantą kurstančias kalbas taikymo atvejų analizės ataskaita), pp. 31–34.

[..]

3.2.3. Encouraging hate crime reporting

[..]

[..] Research in Lithuania shows that victims do not believe that the offender will be punished.70 [..]

70 Lithuania, Labanauskas, L. (2019), The report of qualitative research on hate crime against vulnerable communities (Neapykantos nusikaltimų pažeidžiamų bendruomenių kokybinio tyrimo ataskaita), Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (Vidaus reikalų ministerija), 5 January 2020, p. 78

[..]

4. ROMA EQUALITY AND INCLUSION

[..]

4.2. SEGREGATION REMAINS A CHALLENGE

4.2.1. Education

[..]

A range of measures and initiatives aiming to improve equitable participation continued in 2019. A number of countries updated the action plans for the implementation of their national Roma integration strategies (Croatia,27 Greece,28 Lithuania,29 and Slovakia30) [..]

29 Lithuania, Ministry of Culture (Kultūros ministerija) (2015), Approval of action plan for integration of Roma ethnic group to Lithuanian society 2015–2020 (Įsakymas dėl romų integracijos į Lietuvos visuomenę 2015–2020 metų veiksmų plano patvirtinimo), No. ĮV-48, 29 January 2015.

[..]

A number of countries faced challenges in providing adequate funding for
efforts to promote Roma inclusion in education. In Lithuania, the Action plan for integration of Roma into Lithuanian society 2015–2020 (Romų integracijos į Lietuvos visuomenę 2015–2020 metų veiksmų planas) set out 18 measures. There was only enough funding to implement five in 2019.41

41 Lithuania (2019), Communication of NFP-Lithuania with the Department of National Minorities under the Government of Lithuania (Tautinių mažumų departamentas prie LR Vyriausybės), 13 August 2019.

[..]

4.2.2. Housing

[..]

In Lithuania, Roma houses that had been built illegally in the Kirtimai Roma settlement in Vilnius were demolished.48 According to the local Roma Community Centre, there was no dialogue with those affected and they received no legal information.49 They also claimed that the Vilnius Division of the State Territorial Planning and Construction Inspectorate and the Ministry of the Environment did not provide alternative housing. The Human Rights Committee of the Lithuanian Parliament intervened as a result. Subsequently the government asked the Vilnius Inspectorate to continue implementing the municipal Roma integration programme after 2019.50

48 Lithuania, Human Rights Committee of Seimas (Seimo žmogaus teisių komitetas) (2019), ‘Press release of Human Rights Committee of Seimas: “Between heaven and earth – The settlement is being demolished, no places to live are available, no employment and rooms for business to rent”’ (Seimo ŽTK pranešimas: “Tarp dangaus ir žemės – taboras griaunamas,
kur gyventi nepasiūlo, įdarbinti nenori, patalpų veiklai nenuomoja“
), 29 March 2019.
49 Lithuania, Roma Community Centre (Romų visuomenės centras), communication of the Lithuanian Social Research Centre (LSTC) with the lawyer of the Roma Community Centre on 12 September 2019.
50 Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybės kanceliarija) (2019), Protocol of the consultation meeting on Roma housing, No. LV-139, 23 April 2019.


Document data: 11.06.2020. ISBN 978-92-9474-895-9 Link: https://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2020-fundamental-rights-report-2020_en.pdf