31 October 2014

lukiskesThe head of Lukiškės Remand Prison–Prison Viktoras Davidenko will permit remand prisoners to hold communal prayers and devotions in attendance of a member of Sunni Muslim community on Fridays. Such a decision was made after a successful mediation of the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas when he addressed the head of Lukiškės Prison.

After a complaint was received from a remand prisoner A. B. complaining about poor conditions to hold collective prayers and devotions in Lukiškės Prison, the Seimas Ombudsman A. Normantas requested the head of Lukiškės Prison to consider the possibility of adjusting the daily routine for those remand prisoners who worship Islam in Lukiškės Prison, so they could hold communal devotions on Fridays.

As a reaction to the mediation in solving matters related to a person’s freedom to practise religion, the head of Lukiškės Prison invited a member of Sunni Muslim community to the prison to acquaint its administration with the aspects of Muslim religion.

Visiting to Lukiškės Prison, a member of Sunni Muslim community indicated to the administration of the prison that he is able and is willing to hold payers and devotions on Fridays for remand prisoners worshiping Islam in Lukiškės Prison.

Friday prayers are equally important for Muslims as Mass on Sundays to Catholics and devotions on Saturdays for Jews.

When solving problems indicated by the complainant, the Seimas Ombudsmen often invokes the institute of mediation. When mediating, the Seimas Ombudsmen refer a received complaint to a competent authority, while controlling the process of investigation of the referred complaint. In that case a complaint filed with the Seimas Ombudsmen is not investigated on the merits.

“The mediation of the Seimas Ombudsmen between competent authority and complainant create possibilities to settle arguments more flexible. Moreover, the process of investigation of an argument speeds up and the efficiency of the decisions made increases; hereby the conditions to reach a social harmony are created,” noted A. Normantas.