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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                

Republic of Lithuania

Police abuse of detainees and lengthy pretrial detentions are lingering issues. Separately, despite some progress in recent years, Lithuania still has one of the highest homicide rates in the EU.  [Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: Description: Lithuania

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Lithuania.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Lithuania

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 27 July 2021]


The constitution and law prohibit such practices. In its report published in June 2019, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) stated it had heard allegations of excessive force exerted by prison staff at the Alytus, Marijampole, and Pravieniskes Prisons in subduing interprisoner violence.


The CPT received a number of allegations of deliberate physical mistreatment and excessive use of force by prison staff at the Alytus, Marijampole, and Pravieniskes prisons. The CPT assessed that medical evidence corroborated the reports of physical abuse. The CPT also noted that prison staff used excessive force including punches, kicks, and truncheon blows to de-escalate violence among prisoners. The CPT reported “truly extraordinary levels of interprisoner violence, intimidation, and exploitation” in these prisons. It also reported that inmates seeking protection from fellow prisoners had to spend months (usually six months) if not years in small and often dilapidated cells, and were subjected to severe limitations (no activities, no association, no long-term visits), that amounted to de facto solitary confinement.

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Lithuania

Executive Summary, 25 June 2019

[accessed 1 June 2020]

Furthermore, as had been the case during previous visits, in Alytus, Marijampolė and Pravieniškės Prisons  the  delegation  observed  truly  extraordinary  levels  of inter-prisoner  violence,  intimidation and  exploitation.  It  gave  the  delegation  a  strong  impression  that  the  main  detention  areas  in  these three  prisons  were  unsafe  for  inmates,  and  that  the  only  parts  of  the  establishments  under  full control  of  the  administration  were  the  punishment  blocks  which  were  frequently  used  and constantly  filled  to  capacity,  mostly  by  inmates  seeking  protection  from  other  prisoners  and  being punished for refusing to stay in their ordinary units.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 13 May 2020]

F1. IS THERE AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY? - Businesspeople and politicians closely linked with business exert pressure on the judiciary, and according to the most recent results of an EU survey, only about half of the general public and representatives of the business sector believe that judicial independence is guaranteed. Nontransparent decisions by the courts also remain an issue. -- SCORE CHANGE: The score declined from 4 to 3 due to influence by business groups and politicians on judicial decisions, and a lack of transparency surrounding some judgements.

F2. DOES DUE PROCESS PREVAIL IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL MATTERS? - Defendants generally enjoy the presumption of innocence and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, but detained suspects are not always granted timely access to an attorney. Their rights to fair and impartial trial and other processes are also not always respected.

F3. IS THERE PROTECTION FROM THE ILLEGITIMATE USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE AND FREEDOM FROM WAR AND INSURGENCIES? - Police abuse of detainees and lengthy pretrial detentions are lingering issues. Separately, despite some progress in recent years, Lithuania still has one of the highest homicide rates in the EU.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/LTU/CO/2 (2009)

[accessed 3 March 2013]

Pre-trial detention

11.   The Committee notes the changes that have occurred in the legal regulation of the operation of police detention facilities, including the approval in May 2007 of the Rules of Procedure of the Detention Facilities of Territorial Police Establishments and the Manual for Security and Maintenance of Detention Facilities of Territorial Police Establishments. The Committee also takes note of the Law on the Execution of Detention which will enter into force on 1 April 2009, which stipulates the conditions for keeping detainees in pre-trial wards and sets forth a clear and direct prohibition to subject a person to torture or cruel or degrading treatment upon the execution of detention.  However, the Committee remains concerned at reports of prolonged pre-trial detention and administrative detention of both minors and adults and the high risk of ill-treatment which it entails, and regrets the lack of use of alternatives to imprisonment (arts. 2, 11 and 16).

The State party should take appropriate measures to further reduce the duration of detention in custody and detention before charges are brought, and develop and implement alternatives to deprivation of liberty, including probation, mediation, community service or suspended sentences.


For more articles:: Search Amnesty International’s website

[accessed 6 January 2019]

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CPT publishes report on Lithuania

Council of Europe 2018 News, 1 February 2018

[accessed 16 May 2019]

The CPT also regrets to note the extent of inter-prisoner violence at Alytus and Marijampolė Prisons and concludes that the situation in this respect had become even worse as compared with previous CPT’s visits to these establishments. As previously, several major factors could be seen as contributing to the phenomenon of inter-prisoner violence: accommodation in cramped large-capacity dormitories, the existence of an informal prisoner hierarchy, the abundance of illicit drugs and smuggled mobile telephones and, last but not least, the low number of custodial staff, insufficient to ensure the safety of prisoners.

The CPT’s delegation received a number of allegations of deliberate physical ill-treatment and of excessive use of force by prison staff at Alytus and Marijampolė Prisons. In these two establishments, the delegation also heard (as during previous visits) allegations of physical ill-treatment by members of special intervention units (both those belonging to the Prison Department and those run by the Public Security Service of the Ministry of the Interior) in the context of large-scale cell searches.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 4 February 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; however, at times police beat or otherwise physically mistreated detainees, although such incidents continued to decline. The law does not specifically prohibit torture; however, it could be considered an aggravating factor in the commission of other crimes.

From January to June, the Ombudsman's Office received isolated complaints that officials used force to obtain evidence in pretrial investigations. The ombudsman investigated a complaint alleging the transfer of a diabetic suspect, in custody during pretrial investigation, to a facility unable to meet her medical needs. Considering the transfer a form of psychological pressure to coerce testimony, the ombudsman ordered the suspect's release and requested the police commissioner general to investigate the case and take measures to prevent such recurrences. Prosecutors initiated a pretrial investigation but closed it for lack of evidence.

In February local media reported a complaint that Alytus police bound and beat a suspect in custody. A police investigation failed to confirm that the officers involved had committed a crime, and the authorities did not indict them.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Lithuania",, [accessed <date>]