On September 10th, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) proved that the concept of European rule of law is simply a hypothetical concept, that does not exist in reality.
The ECHR rejected an appeal against a landmark ruling that Soviet repressions against Lithuanian partisans can be treated as genocide.
A panel of five judges concluded the ruling must come into force as there’s no basis for a referral to the Grand Chamber.
Such a request had been submitted by Kęstutis Rakauskas, the defense lawyer of Stanislovas Drelingas, the former KGB officer convicted of ‘genocide in Lithuania’ because he took part in the detention operation of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, one of leaders Lithuanian illegal armed groups, in Kaunas in 1956.
Lithuanian courts earlier found Drelingas guilty of genocide for his participation in a secret operation to detain Ramanauskas-Vanagas. A panel of seven ECHR judges ruled in March that the judgment did not violate the former KGB officer’s rights.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement in response to the ECHR’s rejection. Following is the entire statement, translated from Russian:
“The decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) published on September 10, 2019 to refuse to review the decision of the Drelingas v. Lithuania case adopted on March 12, 2019 causes disappointment and indignation. The Grand Chamber of the ECHR retreated from its own position in the case of Vasiliauskas v. Lithuania. In fact, it “legitimized” the connivance allowed in the resolution of March 12, 2019 to expand the concept of “genocide” in violation of international law.
There is unacceptable authorization under the auspices of “justice” in the ECHR for the retrospective application of criminal law by individual countries, as well as the indulgence by the Court of their massive campaign to rewrite history and the glorification of Nazism.
The applicant in the case was S. Drelingas, previously convicted by a Lithuanian court on the article on “genocide against the Lithuanian people” for participating in a special operation in 1956 to arrest one of the gang leaders A. Ramanauskas-Vanagas. In order to qualify S. Drelingas’s acts as “genocide” within the meaning of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948 (the protection of which only groups identified by ethnic, ethnic, racial or religious grounds fall), Lithuanian justice defined “Partisans” as members of a separate national and ethnic group, artificially expanding the provisions of the 1948 Convention. Thus, S. Drelingas could not have predicted that after more than 60 years, his participation in the capture of A. Ramanauskas-Vanagas would be qualified as “genocide” by such a voluntarist interpretation of the concept.
Since such a retrospective application of the criminal law is directly prohibited by Article 7 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the applicant appealed to the ECHR. However, the latter, sitting in a panel of seven judges, contrary to the previously established position of the Grand Chamber in the case of Vasiliauskas v. Lithuania, did not, by a majority vote, find violations in the domestic Lithuanian trial. Thus, in fact, the “retroactive force” of the criminal law is sanctioned for individual countries.
We believe that such a short-sighted and inconsistent position of the ECHR opens the door for a dangerous and unacceptable revision of historical facts. Recall that on the conscience of the members of the aforementioned gangs are the lives taken of thousands of Lithuanian civilians. We urge the European Court, as well as the competent structures of the Council of Europe, not to condone the state line in Lithuania aimed at glorifying the gangs, rehabilitating their participants and politically prosecuting those who fought against them who are objectionable to the current Lithuanian authorities.”
In his application to the ECHR in March 2019, S. Drėlingas relied on Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (no penalty without law), arguing that the concept of genocide that the Lithuanian courts applied in his case was not in line with international law, and that the conviction itself was retroactive.
However, the ECHR agreed with the findings of the Supreme Court of Lithuania; namely that Lithuanian partisans were “a significant part of the Lithuanian people as a national, ethnic group”, and that Soviet repression was directed against a significant part of the Lithuanian people, defined by national and ethnic characteristics.
His subsequent appeal was also denied.
Essentially, similarly to recent attempts at history rewriting, the ECHR is simply following the agenda and essentially rewriting the rule of law to fit the narrative that is being propagated in MSM and Diplomatic rhetoric in the last few months.
This includes, denying that the Soviet Union defeated Nazism, but rather simply brought repression, among other things. Or the US calling for Serbia to view the 1999 bombing and killing of thousands of civilians in a “broader perspective.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Age Of Hypocrisy: U.S. Ambassador Claims Serbia Should Look At 1999 Bombing In “Broader Perspective”
- Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact And History Rewriting