Požela assessed the actions of the officials at the LGBT protest: we could have done better

“And if we had done better, acted more proactively, maybe there wouldn’t have been a continuation, an escalation, and maybe there wouldn’t have been an investigation.” But we learn from our mistakes and we have to learn these lessons in the future”, emphasized the Commissioner General.

According to R. Požela, the officials had the right to ask A. Kandrota-Celofanas and P. Gražulis, who obstructed the protest of the LGBT community.

“The Law on Meetings basically provides for such rights (to request obstructing persons – ELTA). The police officer assesses the situation that if that person actively interferes with the meeting by his actions – not necessarily by grabbing his lapels, but by shouting, something else – our officers have the right to at least offer to move to the side,” said the Commissioner General of Police.

R. Požėla added that after the LGBT community’s protest that took place on Thursday, he spoke with the Vilnius district police chief, to whom he expressed his observations. In addition, according to the commissioner, an investigation has been launched into the incident.

“We have received a specific complaint, and an investigation has been launched based on this complaint. We received a complaint from the participants of the protest,” added R. Požėla.

A. Bilotaitė is waiting for the assessment of the incident: she will make decisions only after receiving information

Meanwhile, the Minister of the Interior, Agnė Bilotaitė, did not dare to assess the actions of the police officers in the protest organized by the LGBT community.

“It is very difficult for me to judge because I was not there. I have heard that there was such a case, which is evaluated differently. Therefore, as a minister, it is important for me to find out all the circumstances, the actions or inactions of officials, in accordance with the relevant procedures and legislation, and then it will be possible to assess the situation”, the Minister of the Interior told reporters on Monday.

A. Bilotaitė said that she asked for an analysis and assessment of the situation. According to the politician, she will make decisions about the actions of the officials in the protest only after receiving information.

“I asked for an assessment, an assessment will be provided, the situation will be analyzed. As a politician, I cannot judge tactical matters, it must be done by competent persons, and it will be done. I will be provided with information and then we will make decisions,” emphasized A. Bilotaitė, adding that she has not yet received an assessment of the situation.

“At the moment, I do not have that information, that assessment, when I have it, I will be able to tell you”, noted the minister.

ELTA reminds that A. Kandrotas-Celofanas, who is accused in the riots case, and Seimas member P. Gražulis also showed up at the protest of the LGBT community, which took place last Thursday, with a hostile attitude. However, despite disrupting the protest, they were not asked by police officers to leave the meeting.
Head of the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL). Vladimir Simonko appealed to the police and the Minister of the Interior with a demand to carry out an official inspection regarding the work of the officers at the protest held outside the Seimas on Thursday. According to V. Simonkos, the officers on duty at the event had to stop the hostile persons who appeared at the protest.

According to V. Simonkos, hostile persons obstructed the protest, damaged the organization’s property, and also made insulting remarks, but the officers did not stop the counter-protest.

The member of the Seimas, the chairman of the Human Rights Committee also applied to the police and the Minister of the Interior with a request to start an official inspection. Tomas Vytautas Raskevičius.

In addition, on Monday, the Social Democrats of the Seimas demanded explanations from the Minister of the Interior, A. Bilotaitė, and the Commissioner General of the Police, R. Požėla, regarding the behavior of the police.

Aynura Imranova

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