“Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office launched an investigation based on the complaint of a Belarusian severely beaten by Belarusian security forces.”

Evaldas Pashilis, the General Prosecutor of Lithuania, launched a pre-trial investigation of crimes against humanity following a complaint from Maksim Khoroshin, a citizen of Belarus.

“The claimant’s stated circumstances of the event and other initial data presented to the prosecution service have been assessed as having signs of a crime under the universal jurisdiction in line with the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania,” the prosecution service said in a statement.

Universal jurisdiction means that criminal liability for crimes defined by international treaties applies irrespective of the citizenship of victims or suspects, the place of the offence and whether the country where the offence was committed punishes it by law.

Crimes prosecuted under universal jurisdiction are considered too serious to tolerate jurisdictional arbitration. Most often, crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, as well as acts of international terrorism fall under the universal jurisdiction.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya commented on this investigation in her telegram channel. Maksim Khoroshin, who is now in Lithuania, submitted an application to the Lithuanian prosecutor’s office. On October 13, security officials severely beat him upon the arrest and in the police department. Maxim was taken to the hospital in an ambulance from there, the doctors reported a number of injuries.

On November 30, lawyer Giedrius Danelius filed an application with a request to investigate Khoroshin’s case, on behalf of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s office. The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office checked the materials and agreed that these were sufficient for a fully-fledged criminal prosecution.

Alexander Dobrovolsky, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s advisor, commented on the news: “This is a serious step towards justice. We are already preparing statements and evidence for new cases. It is important to remember: everyone who has suffered from the violence by the regime can submit their evidence to the Unified Crime Registration Book [UCRB]. The materials that lawyers would compose from the UCRB database may become a pretext for new criminal cases against the representatives of the regime under the universal jurisdiction principle. The times of impunity for those who repress peaceful Belarusians are over. Now each of them may appear on the Interpol lists. ”

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Voices from Belarus

Voices from Belarus

Stories of people hoping for a democratic Belarus. Created, translated and moderated by a collective of independent authors.