Human rights occupy a special position in Europe, and should be implemented in practical situations.
The Parliamentary Assembly believes that political parties occupy a special place in democratic States and that action against them must be viewed with particular care. Therefore it should responsibly assess whether criminal proceedings against political parties and their leaders amounts to entail political persecution.
In this context, criminal prosecution has been initiated in Lithuania against the Labour Party and its leaders, and more and more information confirms that the political opponents were interested in harming the Labour Party. This is reflected in the material of the US Embassy in Lithuania, disclosed by Wikileaks, stating that A.Januška (State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and subsequently adviser to the Prime Minister) in a conversation with US diplomats stated that the Lithuanian Government engineered the exclusion from Lithuania of Viktor Uspaskich because of the latter’s connections with the Russian special services. The only reason for that is that this leader was born in Russia. The same documents state that “the suspicions with regard to the connections with the Russian special services are not justified, as it is generally traditional in Lithuania to blame the Russians for any kind of failure”.
In 2007, the right of V. Uspaskich to meet his electorate was restricted, the funds of the Party were frozen, thus obstructing any political activity. The Labour Party is one of the largest political organisations and its election results show the society’s confidence in it. However, despite this fact the prosecutor asked the courts to restrict its ability to unite with other parties.
The Assembly should therefore analyse the situation related to the prosecution of the Labour Party in Lithuania and adopt the necessary decisions on this issue.