Annual Report: Lithuania 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Lithuania 2013

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REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

Head of state Dalia Grybauskaitė

Head of government Algirdas Butkevičius (replaced Andrius Kubilius)

A lack of accountability persisted over complicity in US-led rendition and secret detention programmes. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people continued to be discriminated against, including in their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Counter-terror and security

The authorities failed to re-open the investigation into Lithuanian involvement in CIA rendition and secret detention programmes, despite the emergence of new lines of inquiry and flight data presented by NGOs. They also failed to bring to justice any individuals responsible for human rights violations that may have occurred on Lithuanian territory, including torture and enforced disappearance.

In April, European Parliament delegates visited the country and concluded that Lithuania had not conducted an independent, impartial, thorough and effective investigation into its involvement in the CIA programmes: a European Parliament report adopted in September called on Lithuania to conduct a human rights compliant investigation into its complicity.

Discrimination – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Discriminatory legislative provisions and other provisions which could be implemented in a discriminatory manner against people based on their sexual orientation remained in force. In particular, this affected the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and others advocating on their behalf to freedom of expression and assembly. Further discriminatory provisions were proposed.

  • In June, the latest attempt to amend the Code of Administrative Offences with the aim of prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality in public places was voted down in the parliament.

A constitutional amendment aimed at restricting the definition of “family” as comprising a married man and woman, and which could lead to discrimination on grounds of marital status and sexual orientation, was being examined by parliament.

International scrutiny

On 16 March, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review on Lithuania. Lithuania accepted recommendations to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation; and to investigate further the human rights implications of counter-terrorism measures, including secret detention programmes. However, at the end of the year, discriminatory legislation remained in force and no further action had been taken by the authorities on these recommendations.

In July, the UN Human Rights Committee urged Lithuania to ensure that its legislation is not interpreted and applied discriminatorily against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to guarantee that they enjoy all their human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. The Committee further urged Lithuania to continue investigations into alleged human rights violations resulting from counter-terrorism measures and to bring those responsible to justice.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Europe: “What is new on the alleged CIA illegal detention and transfers of prisoners in Europe?” (EUR 01/006/2012)
  • Lithuania: Amnesty International urges the reopening of the criminal investigation into Lithuania's involvement in the US-led rendition and secret detention program (EUR 53/001/2012)