Lithuania: No violation of rights of former Soviet security officer found guilty of genocide

Human rights judges ruled today that Lithuania did not violate the human rights of of a former Soviet security officer found guilty of genocide.

In its judgment  in the case of Drėlingas v. Lithuania (application no. 28859/16) the European Court of Human Rights held, by five votes to two, that there had been:

no violation of Article 7 (no punishment without law) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the applicant Stanislovas Drėlingas’ conviction for genocide for taking part in a 1956 operation to arrest two partisans who had resisted Soviet rule.

The Euopean court concluded that Lithuania’s Supreme Court had now resolved previously existing legal discrepancies in domestic practice on such genocide trials, discrepancies which had led to the court finding a violation in the similar case of Vasiliauskas v. Lithuania in 2015.

In particular, the Supreme Court had explained why the partisans who had resisted Soviet rule could be considered as an important part of the nation and thus be covered by international law, Article II of the Genocide Convention, at the time of the events.


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