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Lithuania: Ban on Nazi and Soviet Symbols

(July 2, 2008) On June 17, 2008, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted amendments to several domestic laws that regulate the implementation of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, to prohibit public display of Soviet and Nazi German flags, coats of arms, and national anthems. Under the amendments, during public rallies and other mass gatherings, the use of portraits of Soviet and Nazi leaders; uniforms and symbols of Nazi and communist organizations, such as swastikas and the Soviet hammer and sickle; and the red star is a misdemeanor subject to heavy fines and possible cancellation of a political organization's registration. However, this ban is not applicable to political parties if they want to use some of these symbols as their party signs. (Lithuanian Parliament Bans Nazi, Soviet Symbols in Gatherings, Not in Party Symbols, BALTIC NEWS SERVICE DAILY REPORT, June 17, 2008, the Emerging Markets Database, available at