The Seimas Ombudsmen met with the ODIHR delegation

18 May 2018

The Meeting with ODIHRThe Seimas Ombudsmen Augustinas Normantas and Raimondas Šukys met with a delegation of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) which is now conducting its fourth cycle of monitoring of public assemblies and Lithuania was included in the ongoing assembly monitoring cycle.

Representatives of the delegation informed the Seimas Ombudsmen that they are planning to monitor freedom of assembly related to the "Rainbow Days 2018" festival in Vilnius, thus assessing Lithuania's readiness to comply with international obligations ensuring the right to freedom of assembly.

Anita Danka, head of the delegation, noted that when monitoring human rights activities, the OSCE / ODIHR places particular emphasis on the need to ground its conclusions with information gathered following the principles of transparency, accuracy and impartiality. Moreover, observers involved in the process of collecting information must adhere to strict principles of objectivity and impartiality.

When collecting information, representatives of the delegation meet with representatives of various institutions, NGOs, national human rights institutions, who can provide more information on the peaceful assembly in the country as well as specific information on the selected monitoring events.

In presenting their activities, the Seimas Ombudsmen noted that the mandate of the Seimas Ombudsmen as a national human rights institution was established in the Law on the Seimas Ombudsmen as of 1 January 2018. Moreover, the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office has received no complaints from the organisers of public events regarding the activities of officials in processing applications for peaceful meetings.

The head of the delegation was interested in legislation regulating the implementation of the freedom of assembly, paying particular attention to the discussion on implementation of provisions 1 and 2 of the Article 6 of the Law on Meetings as well as Article 3 of the same law defining the organisers of the meetings. She was also interested to know how these provisions were implemented and how the procedures of an arrangement of meeting place and time with the representatives of the municipality were working.

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