The Lithuanian Jewish Community is greatly surprised by the actions of law enforcement institutions regarding Marius Ivaškevičius. This write was summoned to a police interrogation on the accusation he had incited hate against the Lithuanian people because of his public identification of the problems troubling our society using historical facts connected with the direct participation of ethnic Lithuanians in perpetrating the Holocaust.
This is extremely depressing, unexpected and troubling, especially bearing in mind that violations with a clear anti-Semitic element usually go unnoticed by law enforcement. This passive reaction by law enforcement institutions towards expressions of anti-Semitism creates a sense of impunity, leads to the application of double standards in Lithuania, erodes the rule of law and the state and recalls dangerous examples from neighboring countries.
The LJC asks government representatives, law enforcement institutions and the public to assess the situation soberly based on justice and intelligence, in order to stop the spread of information campaigns harming Lithuania’s reputation by countries which are against our state.
We thank all those who have maintained a common-sense position and we also ask attention be brought to bear on statements made by Panevėžys politician Raimondas Pankevičius during elections debates on February 22 which had the features of incitement of ethnic hate and Holocaust denial. During the debates the politician made the false statement Jews in Lithuania had killed each other, ignoring the fact of Lithuanian complicity in the Holocaust. The LJC feels the behavior of this Panevėžys mayoral candidate, famous for actions which seem to display an unapologetic and habitual anti-Semitism, has never been subject to an appropriate legal response.