To: First Secretary P. Griškevičius of the Lithuanian SSR
Communist Party Copy to: The Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers'
We, the young people and believers of Lithuania, draw the Party's attention to brutal, morally reprehensible attacks by Soviet officials against young believers. Such actions have increased considerably in recent times.
A group of young believers celebrated the arrival of 1981 at the Rumšiškės Ethnic Museum. Although only bright song came from young lips, and youthful joy burst from innocent hearts, this occasion did not pass without certain consequences. The security police falsely charged the youth with hooliganism and began interrogations. Marytė Vėlyvytė was subjected to special blackmail: she was threatened with expulsion from Mažylis Medical School in Kaunas.
In August, 1981, a group of young believers from Vilnius spent their vacation at Baltųjų Lokajų Lake. On the evening of the 28th, the youth were attacked by a group of militia. Drunken militiamen insulted the girls with unprecedented cynicism and sadism, spat in their faces and threatened to rape them. They brutally threw all the young people into vehicles and took them to the Molėtai Militia Department. At the militia department, they were held an entire day, occasionally interrogated. Two students, Alfonsas Vinc-lovas and Audronė Ginkutė, were expelled from the Vilnius State University. The young people are still being blackmailed.
On August 18, 1981, a group of believers, schoolchildren from Kybartai, were vacationing at Šlavantai Lake, in the Rayon of Lazdijai. On August 20th, as they were preparing to return home, they were detained by militia officials, forced into a bus and taken to the rayon militia department. There, the youngsters were interrogated and some adults — Bernadeta Mališkaitė and Onutė Šarakauskaitė — were held at the militia department for three days, charged with organizing religious instruction of children. The Administrative Commission of the Lazdijai Rayon Executive Committee fined them fifty rubles each, although this had been just a routine trip which had not been cleared with Rayon Communist Youth League and party leaders.
On October 15, 1981, Albinas Chščenavičius and his family left the town of Pagiriai for Šiaulėnai through Šiluva (because they planned to visit the Šiluva cemetery). Their son's friend, Rimantas Jasinskas, accompanied them. On the Raseiniai-Šiluva road they were stopped by militia officials and forbidden to proceed. The people left the car and tried to reach Šiluva on foot. The militia seized the teenager pedestrians and bundled them into a vehicle. Confused by what was happening, the parents ran to the vehicle. The militia vehicle knocked the mother down and injured the father's hand. The boys and later the parents were taken to the militia station. Rimantas Jasinskas was beaten and kicked until (Mrs) Chščenavičienė, who was beyond the wall heard and began to shout: "Don't beat him!" Albinas Chščenavičius was sentenced to one weeks imprisonment and the mother was fined.
On October 25, 1981, Kęstutis Vareikonis decided to walk from Raseiniai to Šiluva, in atonement for the nation's sins. As he was walking the seventeenth kilometer (10th mile), militia officials, without question or explanation, pushed him into a vehicle and took him to the militia department. During the interrogation, Kęstutis was crudely ridiculed and his rosary was confiscated. Furthermore, the young man was given a ten ruble fine.
In 1981, at the Kelmelis apartment, Statybininkų 4-3, Vilkaviškis, some young people were celebrating a birthday. The party mood was spoiled by militiamen and security agents who forced their way into the apartment, supposedly for the purpose of checking the identities of those assembled. The young people were taken to the Vilkaviškis militia department. Although the intruders had promised to detain them only fifteen minutes, they checked their identities for 4 1/2 hours and it is uncertain the young people would have been released, had not emergency medical help been necessary for one of the girls.
Some time before, three students—Zita Vizbergaitė, Ramunė Butkevičiūtė and Dalia Dambrauskaitė — did not receive their diplomas ostensibly because they "failed" the communism exams, but actually because they were devout believers and the institute administration was well aware of the fact.
These are just several instances. Who can enumerate the intimidation of individual young people?
In view of such facts the question arises: Where are we living? We are assured that we are the citizens of the most democratic country, but thus far we see democracy only on paper.
Why do sober young people displease officials? Why does the faith of young people bother them? On the basis of what laws do young people not have the right to go on trips, have parties or deepen their faith?
Do Soviet government representatives not see the moral poverty of atheist young people who are filling up prisons, correctional work colonies, venereal disease clinics, that they have to direct all their forces toward terrorizing believing young people? The inevitable conclusion is that this is done deliberately to bolster the unsuccessful campaign to render the nation godless by administrative methods.
We demand in justice that the most basic human rights be guaranteed: to live according to one's conscience and beliefs. 1982
Signed by believers from the following towns:
Rokiškis app. 80
Kupiškės app. 100