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August 16, 2012

We are former dissidents and political prisoners of the Soviet Union who are addressing you, the leaders of democratic countries, and informing you about a clearly showcased aggressive political persecution in Lithuania, which is being enacted against the former judge, Neringa Venckien, and her relatives. Our request is that you would assess this situation on the international level and apply the same measures that have been used by democratic countries against the political persecutions in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.

One of the cornerstones of rule of law is the fact that the government institutions and officials are treated equally by the rule of law, regardless of their publicly expressed beliefs. This is also strictly defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, Article 29: All persons are equal in the eyes of the law, courts, and other governmental institutions and governmental officials.

However, the institutions of justice and law enforcement in Lithuania the courts, police, and prosecutors office act as though they have made an agreement or received some orders from those who are more powerful in the government hierarchy when dealing with N. Venckien, who revealed and publically criticized systemic flaws of the Lithuanian legal system and promised to fix them together with like-minded supporters after she is elected to the Parliament. Subsequently, these institutions began to apply double standards and treat her differently than they have previously treated other Lithuanian citizens.

N. Venckien is the first District Court judge and the first individual with legal immunity whose freedom was restricted without the consent of the Parliament. Specifically, authorities restrained her arms, brutally invaded her residence, and thereby violated the provisions of the Constitution that guarantee a judges immunity. The Public Commission, consisting of well known Lithuanian lawyers and defenders of human rights concluded that an explanation issued by the Kedainiai District Court judge, R. idlauskien, that the violation of judge N. Venckiens immunity in the Garliava case without the consent of the Parliament was justifiable, since she is allegedly not a judge in this case but a minors guardian, not only directly contradicted the Constitution (Article 114) and the Judiciary Law provisions (Article 47), but also the conclusions of the members of the Judicial Court of Honor. That court treated N. Venckiens public comments in the same case not as the comments of a minors guardian, but those of a judge, for which she was punished. Thus, the judges of the Republic of Lithuania had applied obvious double standards to judge N. Venckiens

situation for the first time when she was treated and punished as a judge in one instance and in another instance in the same case she was treated as a guardian when her judges immunity was suspended arbitrarily and the Constitution was interpreted unlawfully to her disadvantage.

The police also started to apply double standards to N. Venckien, who announced her intentions to go into politics. They did not even wait for any investigation regarding the violence used against judge N. Venckien, her ward (her brothers daughter), and the peaceful Lithuanian citizens who supported them, which was promised by the president and allegedly started by the prosecutors office. For the first time in Lithuanian history, the police decided to bill a citizen for the acts of violence used against her. This kind of practice has not been applied even to the most serious offenders convicted of mass murder, robbery, running organized prostitution, drug dealings, corruption, or smuggling.

It is very obvious that the prosecutors are also applying double standards to N. Venckiene. For the first time in Lithuanian history, prosecutors were personally serving official papers in the hospital demanding N. Venckienes presence at prosecutors office (she had been undergoing a surgical procedure). Furthermore, they are threatening to closely monitor and even supervise N. Venckienes treatment in order to interrogate and indict her as quickly as possible. This approach shows that they are rushing to sentence her before the parliamentary election in an attempt to prevent her from becoming a Parliament member. We have come to this conclusion, since no other Lithuanian citizen, even G. Petrikas, the former president of the scandalous EBSW Concern, who financially wronged a large number of Lithuanians in the largest financial scam ever, did not receive such obviously excessive attention and efforts from the prosecution. N. Venckiene, on the other hand, is being accused only of insulting the court system with her public comments and not complying with the requests of the representatives of the legal system. In addition, the prosecutors are creating a psychologically stressful public climate for N. Venckien by constant threats and announcements to the media of the smallest steps they are taking against her. As we look at the financial case of the Labor Party that has been continuing for the last four years, where this party is being accused of fraud and deception concerning millions of litas of state tax money, we can see how this case has been prolonged due to the many illnesses of the people involved, but no prosecutors ever went to the hospital to check on them because of that. Looking at the length of time investigations take in other cases of a similar nature and how much time it has been taking to investigate the cases of the post-war genocide and the corruption of high officials, the application of double standards to N. Venckiene by the prosecution and other justice authorities cannot be viewed as other than the violation of the provisions of the Lithuanian Constitution, which guarantees equality to all citizens and as political persecution similar to the politically engaged legal persecution of Y. Tymoshenko in the Ukraine, the persecution of the businessman, M. Khodorkovsky, in Russia, and the persecution and murder of the attorney, S. Magnitsky, in prison, who alleged that Russian officials perpetrated large-scale systematic theft from the Russian government.

This political persecution of N. Venckiene, the former judge and now a candidate for Parliament, is directly related to the violent acts committed against judge N. Venckiene, her ward (her brothers daughter), and peaceful Lithuanian citizens who were supporting them, by Lithuanian authorities on

May 17th of this year. This caused massive dissatisfaction with the government and the activity of the judicial system among Lithuanian citizens, which may be displayed in the parliamentary election that will take place shortly. Therefore, we believe it is very important to enclose for your review the conclusions made by the Public Commission, which investigated this violent act perpetrated by the government of Lithuania.


Alfonsas Svarinskas, priest and former political prisoner

Robertas Grigas, priest and former dissident

Algimantas Keina, priest and former political prisoner

Nijol Sadnait, nun and former dissident

Antanas Terliackas, former political prisoner

Algirdas Patackas, former member of Parliament, signatory of the Act of Lithuanian Independence, and former dissident

Algirdas Endriukaitis, former member of Parliament, signatory of the Act of Lithuanian Independence, and former political prisoner

Vytautas Vaiinas, priest and former dissident