LGL appeals against restriction to freedom of assembly
On Friday, 15 February 2013, the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL) lodged a complaint before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court against the unilateral decision by the Vilnius City Municipality to relocate the Baltic Pride 2013 March for Equality from the central avenue in the downtown of Vilnius to rather isolated and inaccessible area on the riverbank. The Court is asked to order the municipal authorities to facilitate the route of the Pride on Gediminas Avenue.
In its submission the LGL has indicated that refusal by the Vilnius City Municipality for the Baltic Pride 2013 March for Equality to proceed on the desired route breaches the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on Public Meetings, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Court’s of Human Rights (ECtHR) jurisprudence. In an addition to this, the LGL seeks to initiate an accelerated judicial procedure in order to guarantee the implementation of the right to effective remedy. To put it in other words, the organization asks the judicial authorities to foresee the possibility of delivering the judgment by the last instance – the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania – before the scheduled date of the Pride, i.e. 27 July 2013.
The LGL is of a position that this particular case bears significant strategic implications to the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Lithuania. It seeks to consolidate the procedure of notification rather than authorization of public assemblies, which is established by the Law on Public Meetings, but followed rather vaguely by municipal authorities.
In 2010 the first Baltic Pride in Lithuania was allowed to proceed only after the positive judgment by the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, which was rendered one day prior to the actual March of Equality.