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A programme on implementation of national prevention of torture has been developed

The Seimas Ombudsmen after having started implementing national prevention of torture under the Optional Protocol (OPCAT) of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, approved a programme on implementation of new functions.

The programme presents in detail the content, objectives and measures of the national prevention of torture as well as the team that will implement them, monitoring practice of places of deprivation of liberty in different countries, and other relevant information. The program is coordinated with the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment(“SPT”), which is a new kind of treaty body in the United Nations human rights system, created for carrying out functions established in the Protocol.

The Republic of Lithuania ratified the Optional Protocol on 3 December 2013, appointing the Seimas Ombudsmen for implementation of national prevention of torture in places of deprivation of liberty, and the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office – a National Preventive Institution.

 

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The Seimas Ombudsman Raimondas Šukys is paying a visit to the Municipality of Kaunas

On 24 May, the newly appointed Seimas Ombudsman for investigation of activities of officials of municipal institutions and agencies is paying a visit to the Municipality of Kaunas (the second largest city in Lithuania) to meet the Mayor, the Director of Administration and other officials of the Municipality as well as a representative of the Government of Kaunas County. It is planned to discuss objectives of the Seimas Ombudsmen‘s Office, complaints regarding potentially violated human rights to good public administration and problems related to activities of the officials of the Municipality of Kaunas.

„In comparison with other municipalities and especially with the municipality of Vilnius we do not observe an excessive amount of violations of rights to good public administration in the Municipality of Kaunas; however, meetings with the officials provide a possibility to directly discuss problems of the citizens and allow not only to better understand the people, for whom the Seimas Ombudsman is often the last hope, but also the officials“, states the newly appointed Seimas Ombudsman Raimondas Šukys.

Last year the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office Seimo received 2 697 complaints in total; 1 805 complaints out of this number were new complaints: 542 complaints related to municipal questions and 1 263 complaints related to questions dealt by the state institutions and agencies.

Last year the Seimas Ombudsmen’s Office received 75 complaints from the citizens of Kaunas, who complained about potentially violated rights to good public administration. This year, until the 22th of May, the Seimas Ombudsman received 25 complaints related to potential abuse of office and bureaucracy by officials of the Municipality of Kaunas. Last year almost the same number of complaints, i.e. 26, was received by the office.

In 2012, the validity of complaints regarding actions or non-action of the officials of the Municipality of Kaunas was 11 percent lower than the overall average of validity of complaints received by the office – statements that proved complaints regarding actions of the officials of the Municipality of Kaunas to be valid or partially valid amounted only to 30 percent.

The Seimas Ombudsman Raimondas Šukys has started an investigation on his own initiative regarding a business trip of Vilnius City Municipality’s officials to Kazakhstan

The Seimas Ombudsman Raimondas Šukys in reaction to information in the media has started an own initiative investigation regarding actions (inaction) of the Director of Administration and other officials of Vilnius City Municipality, responsible for implementation of internal and financial control, concerning their business trip to a meeting of the Lithuania-Kazakhstan intergovernmental trade and economic cooperation commission and a business forum.

„There are doubts whether the business trip of the officials of Vilnius City Municipality to Kazakhstan on a business-class airplane chartered by a business company does not violate a constitutional provision, which says that “State institutions serve the people“ and clearly indicates that institutions have to serve all the citizens of the country, not only particular ones. Moreover, there are doubts whether such behaviour of the officials does not violate citizens’ rightful expectations that a right of both natural and legal entities to good public administration has to be observed”, states Raimondas Šukys, the Seimas Ombudsman for the investigation of activities of officials of municipal institutions and agencies.

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