Protester in racist march cleared in Vilnius


MOSCOW (JTA) — A participant in a racist march was cleared of incitement charges in Lithuania, a Jewish watchdog group said.

Arturas Pazarskis was caught on video marching through the streets of Vilnius, the capital, and chanting racist slogans on March 11, 2008, according to a monitor for the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.

The marchers wore military uniforms, carried flags with swastikas, and chanted nationalistic, anti-Russian and anti-Semitic slogans.

The court ruled that the slogan "Lithuania for Lithuanians" was not racist since it could be construed to mean that the country belongs to all its people.

Witnesses at the march said that participants also shouted "Juden Raus" and "Hang the Jews," slogans that would have led to a conviction.

At the time, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus apologized for allowing the march, saying it had brought shame on his country.

Recommended from JTA