National frameworks to address hate crime in Lithuania

This page provides information on the national frameworks to address hate crime in Lithuania. The information provided here should be viewed alongside data presented on Lithuania's hate crime report page.

Hate crime recording and data collection

Criminal data are processed in the Departmental Register of Criminal Acts. The Register is administrated by the Ministry of the Interior. The data are provided by police officers and prosecutors when a pre-trial investigation begins or other decisions on criminal procedures are made. The judges provide data to the Register only in cases of private accusation, in which a pre-trial investigation is not carried out and a victim files a complaint and upholds an accusation in court.

There are two types of hate crimes described in the criminal code: substantive crimes with bias motivations (with specific sentencing enhancements for murder, health impairment, desecration of graves or other places of public respect, and incitement of violence); and all other crimes for which bias motivation is an aggravating circumstance that should be taken into account by the court in sentencing.

During the investigation of hate crime cases, officers entering information in the Register will mark a criminal act as likely motivated by race, nationality, religion, language, gender, descent, social status, convictions or views, sexual orientation, age and disability.

When a criminal case is referred to the court, the officer entering the decision in the Register will also indicate the bias motive of a criminal act if it has been investigated. In order to obtain data on recorded and prosecuted hate crimes, a search of the Register, filtered by indicated motives and specific paragraphs of relevant articles of the criminal code, is carried out. The data are then reviewed to ensure accuracy.

In order to obtain data on sentences for hate crimes, a search by a relevant criminal case number is carried out in the Register of Suspected, Accused and Convicted Persons for hate crimes referred to the court. The searches are performed and data reviewed by the Public Security and Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior.

Statistics on the application of aggravating circumstance provisions in sentencing are not available at the moment. A special instruction or policy document governing the process of hate crime data collection does not exist. Only official statistics on crimes recorded as "Incitement against any National, Racial, Ethnic, Religious or Other Group of Persons", which are mostly cases of hate speech, are published on the Ministry of the Interior's website.

Hate crime victim support

There is no developed victim support system in Lithuania.

The state supports facilities for victims of domestic violence. Lithuania’s Center for Crime Prevention provides support to victims of all crimes by email or by phone, and is funded by the state and municipal actors. There are several dedicated helplines catering to the needs of children and youth, adults in need of psychological support, and women victims of domestic violence. There are also a few civil society organizations (CSOs) that specifically support victims of hate crime by providing legal, emotional and/or psychological assistance. However, these CSOs have insufficient resources, limited geographical outreach and are not integrated into state measures to address victims’ needs. However, a working group formed to address hate crime and hate speech has provided some institutional co-operation among the government, law enforcement and CSOs.

Practical guidance is available for law enforcement on co-operating with communities targeted by hate crimes. Law enforcement also receive occasional training courses on working with hate crime victims.

Lithuanian legislation provides for special protection measures for victims and witnesses of crime, including the use of video conferencing systems and the possibility to ensure full or partial anonymity. Victims of hate crime are eligible for free legal aid, including legal documentation, defence and representation in court. Victims of violent crimes are also entitled to state compensation.

Please note that the above text may be subject to updates based on information provided by the National Point of Contact