MINELRES: Update about Vilnius Roma after December events, Lithuania

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Sat Jan 8 10:48:35 2005

Original sender: Egle Kucinskaite <egle_kristina@one.lt>


As by information of Mr. Z. Miseikis, the Vilnius Roma community
organization (Vilniaus cigonu bendrija) received a reply (No.
D-2004/03-1716) of 13 December 2004 from the parliamentary Ombudsman Ms.
Rimante Salaseviciute, which informed about the decisions of the
Ombudsman (presented shortly):

1) to cease a further investigation of the complaint of the Roma NGO
taking into account that the problem was solved, i.e. demolitions of
buildings in the Roma tabor were stopped;

2) to pay attention of the Head of the Vilnius county administration Mr.
F.Kolosauskas and Vilnius city mayor A.Zuokas to the listed violations
of procedures for demolition of illegal constructions and to ensure that
similar violations would not be repeated in future;

3) to present this certificate of the Ombudsman for the Chairwoman of
the parliamentary Committee for Human Rights Ms. Z. Zvikiene and the
Chairman of the National Security Committee Mr. Sadeckas.

The letter falsely names a lawyer who assisted Roma during this time
"Z.Miskinis" instead of Z.Miseikis.

According to Ms. A.Simoniukstyte, in the middle of December 2004 two
Roma organisations  the above mentioned one (Chairman Mr. Stepas
Visockis) and also the Gypsy Bonfire (Chairman Mr. Josif Tycina) 
submitted a joint letter for the following institutions: President of
the Republic of Lithuania; Office of the General Prosecutor;
Parliamentary Ombudsman; State Control; Ministry of Social Protection
and Labour; Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Interior; Department of
Police under the Ministry of Interior; Administration of the Head of
Vilnius County; and the Municipality of Vilnius City. 

The letter asks to abolish requests of authorities to pay fines by poor
Roma families (asked to pay 1000 LTL each) 'for illegal buildings', to
investigate violations of law doing demolitions of Roma housings during
December 2-3, 2004, to stop persecutions of Roma for living space also
in other parts of the Vilnius city, to stop 'politicking' of the City
police who openly slander Roma of Kirtimai district, to find responsible
who gave permission to use police force during illegal demolitions and
steel Roma property, illegal acts of police. 

The 7-page letter lists appropriate articles of the Lithuanian Criminal
Code, which relate with the mentioned facts: genocide; leaving without
help in the face of peril; threatening to kill and terrorizing; illegal
substraction of freedom; slandering; insulting; violation of
inviolability of personal housing; discrimination by ethnicity, race,
etc.; steeling; robbery; property damaging; acquisition of property in
illegal way; abuse using their power; non-accomplishment of duties;
terror act; incitement of terrorism, of riots; violation of public
order; high-handedness; forgery of document or use of forged document.


Demolitions of Roma housing are further related with a fight against
drug-selling by mainstream media. Hatred comments, calls for
extermination or eviction of Roma from Lithuania and calls to make those
who made 'noise' on this occasion to compensate for damage for the
country's image follow any Internet article about Roma in the DELFI
portal. The last articles, which are available in Lithuanian language
(some include photos):

14 December 2004, 10:13: The out-territory seaks intercessors (Uzribio
teritorija iesko uztareju):

5 January 2004, 21:32: Roma require 200,000 litas from the Vinius city
municipality (Romai is Vilniaus miesto savivaldybes reikalauja 200
tukst. Litu) sais that 6 Roma families, who were left homeless, expect
compensation via a court process:

6 January 2004, 10:19: A new police station was built in the tabor of
the capital (Sostines tabore pastatytas naujas policijos postas):

Yours sincerely,

Egle Kristina Kucinskaite
Kaunas, Lithuania