• August 11, 2011
  • 220

Jail for polish street name boards?

Jurgis Jurkevičiuk – representative of the government in wilenski district, believes that if the administration of the council of the district will not remove street name boards, court executive officer should take care of that.

A month ago Lithuania’s Suprime Administrative Court decided that bilingual street name boards in wilenski district should be replaced with just Lithuanian ones. This decision is finale and cannot be appealed.

The administration of wileński district was obligeded to make a statement till last Monday.

Meanwhile the management of the administration claims that it’s not the matter of time or willingness.

— We are just not able to force people to remove those boards from their houses – explains to „Kurier” Lucyna Kotlowska, director of the administration of wileński district.

As said previously, the management of the region obliged  Department of the Public Order to remove those boards. However the fact that remaining board are hanging on private houses and the owner refused to follow the order, is still a problem. Tadeusz Bujko, manager of the Local Department of the Public Order, says that his department is not competent to force citizens to do that.

— We visited houses on which those boards are hanged and informed owners about the administrative decision. None of the owners agreed to remove boards – explained us Tadeusz Bujko on Tuesday. He also added that the only thing he can do is visit them and inform.

— There is no legal possibilities to force those residents to remove the boards. We have said that many times throughout the hearings in court. We have asked for information how to carry out the court decision, but there are no specific answers.  – says Lucyna Kotlowska

Being a manger of the local administration, she can be passibly punished with 1000 lit fine for not following the court’s decision.

— If administration will not satisfy court executive officer’s request, then he will have to ask court to fine a person who is for not following the court decision, in this case director of the local administration –Jurgis Jurkevičius. He also tells us that if after paying a fine, administration will not force people to remove boards, he will have to ask court to fine director again. However, he thinks that this „game” will not last for long.

— The person who notoriously ignores court’s decision may be prosecuted, and  according to the Criminal Code that person may be sentenced to prison – explains government representative. He also adds that in this specific case prosecutor will have to find the guilty person and learn about the circumstances.

Jurgis Jurkevičius believes that local administration poses the necessary means to force residents to follow the court’s decision. In Jurkevičiusa’s opinion the court’s decision specifies that even though the residents refuse to remove the boards, administration is obligated to followed the decision.

— This is the matter of  legal means, which local administration does have. It has nothing to do with lack of citizen’s  willingness, because the matter of street names belongs to the country and government, and people who live there must obey the law. By the way there is something called : “ insubordination towards the legal demands of the clerks of local administration” and that is a crime – notice Jurkevičius. He doesn’t find the fact that boards belong to the private owners of the houses relevant.

— What has to do street naming system to the property immunity since the naming system belong to the government’s competency? The council is the one who is legally responsible for that, not the citizens. They are obligated to follow the law, because law has to be followed by everyone no matter what nationality, originality or whether they like it or not – explains government representative.

Meanwhile Lucyna Kotlowska points out that while government representatives were actively fighting for removing polish street name boards, government work group is preparing the bill in which the bilingual naming system will be allowed.

— We have at least strange situation, it seems that the Right has no idea what the Left does – notices director of the local administration in wilenski district.


Korekta Katarzyna Słowik w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu Corrected by Katarzyna Słowik, as a part of vocational training in the European Foundation of Human Rights,  www.efhr.eu

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