In Lithuania, freedom of assembly is regulated by the law № I-317 "On Meetings" adopted on December 2, 1993. That law requires prior notification regarding the holding of peaceful assemblies.
Procedure for organizing meetings
- a notification about the organization of a meeting of more than 15 people shall be submitted not later than 5 working days prior to the date on which the planned meeting is to take place;
- organizers of meetings must have reached 18 years of age, and must be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania or any other state of the EU, or foreigners granted permanent residence in the Republic of Lithuania on the grounds and in accordance with the procedure laid down by law (on the Legal Status of Aliens);
- a certificate concerning the coordinated place, time and form of the meeting shall be issued by authorities not later than within 3 working days from a notice of a meeting;
- organizers of a meeting shall submit a notification of a meeting of fewer than 15 individuals in free form to the head of the executive body of the municipal council or a representative authorized by them;
- the municipal administration cannot oblige organizers and participants of a meeting to undertake measures requiring financial resources with the exception of the cleaning of the location after the meeting.
What is allowed
Participants have the right:
- to cover their faces;
- to conduct preliminary agitation campaigns.
Restrictions on the right to freedom of assembly
It is prohibited:
- to hold spontaneous meetings;
- to organize a meeting closer than 75 meters from the buildings of the Parliament, the Government, President's office and closer than 25 meters from other state government facilities;
- to hold the event between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am unless it is approved by the authorities;
- to organize more than one public event at the same place and time;
- to display symbols of the USSR or Nazi Germany;
- to attend the action naked;
- to instigate violation of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Lithuania or to incite hatred towards any social group.
- Organizers, participants, and individuals engaged in (political) agitation will be held criminally or administratively liable for violating the law regulating public assembly, as well as other laws;
- The punishment for formal violation of the law regulating public assembly includes a fine of not less than $155 and not more than $664;
- Non-compliance with the requirements for public assemblies shall entail the imposition of a fine in the amount ranging from $33 to $166 or the imposition of a ban on holding assemblies for up to 18 months;
- Holding an unauthorized assembly on the premises of a nuclear site or sanitary protection zone shall entail the imposition of a fine in the amount ranging from 140 euros to 740 euros ($155 to $819 respectively);
- Flagrant violations (serious disturbance) of public order during mass riots shall entail imprisonment for a period of up to 5 years.
Commentaries of experts and participants of public events
Only one respondent from Lithuania has participated in our survey. According to his response, organizers of rallies consider the environment for public assemblies in Lithuania as enabling. They say that in cases of disputes between the authorities and protesters the government adheres to law enforcement practices recommended by bodies of the European Union.