- January 24, 2012
He was speaking in Polish. They almost killed him
Today, it is not only difficult to be Polish in Lithuania, but it becomes also dangerous. In Vilnius, a group of unknown attackers kicked with effects of unconsciousness and memory loss Daniel Cz., a 16-year-old from Polish High School of John Paul II. It is believed that Daniel was kicked just for having talked with his friends in Polish.
– My son was not expecting an attack, that is why the first blow to the head made him fall to the ground. Then the attackers kicked him in the head until he lost consciousness and remembers nothing. His friend told, however, that the beatings took place against a background of nationality, because the attackers before the attack called the boys with “przek” (lit. pšekai) – told the “Courier” mother of the victim Wioleta Cz, who is the only one who wants to talk about last friday’s incident.
Daniel and others assaulted boys, and especially their parents try to avoid the media, because as they explained, they fear for the their and their children’s fate. Certainly, they have solid grounds to do that, especially after friday’s tragedy of Daniel.
– Doctors have said that Daniel was born lucky, because despite the strong beating, there are no fractures – says Ms Wioleta. She does not want to say much about her son’s state of mind: “He is sad and he avoids classmates.”
The attack took place on Friday, at about 10.30pm in the neighborhood of the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius, where Polish teenagers were having fun at the dicso.
When Ms Wioleta was dropping her son off to the disco, she did not feel anything wrong going to happen. She thought “What can happen when boy was dropped off by the House of Polish Culture, and later, after the party, he will be taken away from the same spot?”
– The first time I called to him to make an appointment when I have to take him back. When I called again to tell him to getting ready to go, but he wasn’t answering the phone. Then a son’s friend picked up his phone and told me that something bad happened to Daniel – the mother remembers those tragic moments. After several minutes, she was already at the incident’s place. Her child was taken to the hospital. Friends of Daniel told that at the end of the party, Daniel with his friends went outside the House of Polish Culture to wait for their parents. While waiting, they were talking in Polish. A group of over a dozen drunk men passed them by. Three of them at age 30-40 returned to sitting on a bench boys and began to call them names as “przek”. Right after that the blows had started. Boys, who had no chance with 40-years-old well-built men started to run towards a nearby petrol station. Daniel did not have time, because he was knocked down to the ground and kicked into being unconscious.
According to our information, the case of Daniel is the most tragic, but not the only one, in which they beat Polish youth in Vilnius only for the fact of talking to each other in Polish.
– Particularly dangerous is the evening when we get accosted on the street – “why do we talk in Polish.” . They call us names, insults, but it also comes to the physical attacks – Bronislaw tells us, a one of the Polish school students in Vilnius. He notes that such cases are not isolated.
– It seems that these actions are systematic. Supposedly beating polish people is cool now- Bronislaw notes. He adds that because of the increasingly frequent assaults, but also because of anti-Polish sentiment which is exacerbated by the media in Lithuania, young Poles are trying not to talk in Polish in public places.
It is also noticed by the director of the John Paul II High School, Adam Blaszkiewicz.
– I can unequivocally say about the reasons for this, but you can easily notice that Polish youth in trolleybuses are more silent – says the director.
The police could not yet confirm whether the beatings of Daniel Cz. happened on the grounds of nationality. On Tuesday, the press office of the Police Headquarters in Vilnius informed us that the investigator conducting the investigation on the beating, can neither confirm nor deny the information that the boy was beaten because he was speaking Polish.
– The case is investigated by a second Police HeadquarterVilnius. Currently in the proceedings witnesses are interrogated.. The attackers have not yet been identified – police told us.
There is no statement of local authorities about Daniel’s case so far. This is not surprising for the European Foundation for Human Rights, which on tuesday condemned the attack and beating of young Poles. In its statement, the Foundation notes that this reprehensible act, is among others,the result of unfavorable attitude of the authorities and the growing negative attitudes of Lithuanian society towards persons belonging to national minorities.
Observations of the Foundation are not unfounded, because about the case of beating Daniel Cz., not only the authorities have nothing to say but also the Lithuanian media are silent and it seems like they did not notice beaten with effects of unconsciousness young Polish boy.
European Foundation for Human Rights has decided to also contribute to the clarification of the case and calls witnesses of the incident for assistance in identify the attackers.The Foundation has set a cash prize (500 litas) for information that will help to find those responsible for Daniel’s attack The Foundation also encourages the public to ask for information about any similar incidents.
Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Słowik w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka,www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Słowik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu