Kaunas. On August 14, 1975, near Babtai, Security Committee officials stopped the "Zhiguli" automobile driven by (Miss) Marytė Vitkūnaitė with four passengers, and stated that they had to search the car.
One official, dressed in militia uniform, drove the car to the Kaunas Security Headquarters yard. The passengers were taken away for questioning and the car was thoroughly searched, under the direction of Captain Marcinkevičius, an interrogator of the Vilnius Security Committee. The following individuals were present at the search:
Charževisky, Raimondas, son of Jurgis, residing in Kaunas, Suomių g. 32-2, and
Bertašius, Algirdas, son of Juozas, residing in Kaunas, Lampėdžių g. 10-405.
The car was dismantled by the following specialists:
Carion, Ivan, residing in Kaunas, Lenino g. 57-30 and Adomavičius, Kęstutis, residing in Kaunas, Gedimino g. 39-1. For two hours they searched for "anti-Soviet literature" in the car's tires, radiator, gas tank, and in every recess of the car, but they found only a copy of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn, published in Vilnius in 1963.
Afterwards, the owner of the car, Marytė Vitkūnaitė, was taken into Security headquarters for a body search. The search was conducted by interrogator (Mrs) Paliušienė with the following women in attendance:
Audronė Petružytė, residing in Kaunas, LTSR 25-čio g. 130-4, and Kazimiera Juškytė, residing at Alyvų g. 1-9.
Miss Vitkūnaitė was stripped and carefully searched and yet no "anti-Soviet literature" was found on her person.
Finally, Major Markevičius and Captain Marcinkevičius searched M. Vitkūnaitė's apartment and basement at LTSR 25-čio g. 86-53. The Security officers worked for an hour and a half, but the find was very modest: the prayerbook Mary, Help Us, and "Prayer for the Homeland" on a small scrap of paper.
Prior to the search, security cars for a long time kept track of where Miss Vitkūnaitė went. They were especially bothered that Miss Vitkūnaitė's car was often seen in Nemunėlio Radviliškis, where the exiled Bishop V. Sladkevičius lives.
Upon releasing Miss Vitkūnaitė late in the evening, Security officials stated that they would have to meet again at Vilnius Security Headquarters.
Vilnius. In October 1974, five priests from the Vilkaviškis Diocese—Lionginas Kunevičius, Petras Dumbliauskas, Pranas Do-maitis, Juozas Zdebskis and Sigitas Tamkevičius—appealed to the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights in Moscow asking it to go to the defense of the arrested Catholics: Petras Plumpa, Povilas Petronis, Jurgis Stašaitis, Virgilijus Jaugelis, Juozas Gražys and Nijolė Sadūnaitė.
In announcing the petition's contents, Academician Sacharov did not disclose the names of the priests who signed it.
During searches in Moscow, security officials succeeded in finding the original copy of the petition with the signatures. During August 7 to 14, 1975, the priests who signed the above-mentioned petition were summoned to Vilnius Security Headquarters for questioning. Some of them were interrogated by Maslauskas, others by either Marcinkevičius or Lazarevičius.
The interrogators asked about the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights in Moscow, and whether they had ever appealed to it. Security officials showed the original of the petition to those being interrogated and asked whether they had actually signed it. All confirmed that they had signed the petition in question, because they felt it their duty to stand up for the unjustly arrested individuals. They did not consider it a crime to appeal to the Human Rights Committee. The priests were also questioned about who organized the petition, who brought it for their signature and so on.
Some of the priests said they did not know the person who brought them the petition, while others refused to provide any details. Several of the priests being questioned even refused to sign the minutes of the interrogation, arguing that no crime had been committed and that they did not consider it their duty, as citizens, to provide any official testimony in this matter.
The interrogators were very polite, they pretended that the petition was an insignificant matter, but that they were simply interested in explaining how that petition had fallen into hands for which it had not been intended.
TRIALS AND PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS
Vilnius. In 1973, a student of the Tallat-Kelpša Music School in Vilnius, Rimas Čekelis, son of Juozas, was sentenced to three years imprisonment in strict regime camps for "the distribution of anti-Soviet leaflets."
Cekelis was born on January 7, 1955 in Skiemoniai. After completing nine grades of the Skiemoniai middle school, he enrolled in the Tallat-KelpSa Music School. While living in Vilnius, he organized a group of friends who printed and distributed national proclamations. On the eve of February 16, 1973, they distributed their proclamations in Vilnius, but later one of the group betrayed them. All five members of the group were expelled from school, and Cekelis, as leader of the "anti-Soviet group," was brought to trial. He was tried by the Supreme Court of the LSSR in closed court. Čekelis is now in the 19th Mordavian labor camp.
Kaunas. Former political prisoner Povilas Pečiulaitis, who had served 19 years in the Gulag, was arrested in the spring of 1975. He had been released from the labor camp in 1972, but had been denied the right to return to his native land. Ignoring the prohibition, Pečiulaitis settled in Kaunas, found a job and started a family. On the basis of secret instructions and not of laws, local authorities attempted to drive Pečiulaitis from Lithuania. However, he refused to leave his family and his native land. At first, he was punished by monetary fines and, finally, was arrested. He is accused of not having registered. The people's court of the Lenin Rayon of Kaunas sentenced Pečiulaitis to one year's imprisonment. The court disregarded the fact that there is no basis in law for prohibiting anyone from living in his native land. Such a disposal of Pečiulaitis' case is consistent with the spirit of the Stalin era and is a means for the government to terrorize former political prisoners.
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In June 1974 another former political prisoner, Leonas Laurins-kas, was sentenced. On December 23, 1974 he had stopped in to see Algirdas Petruševičius where the Security police were conducting a search. Leonas was also searched and a "cold weapon," a piece of cable, taken away from hoodlums, was found in his possession.
Called as witness, Algirdas Petruševičius explained to the court that Leonas had stopped in to see him and that Security agents searched him after taking him into another room; therefore, he did not know what was found on Leonas' person.
The witness Antanaitis, who had been brought by Security agents to the apartment of Algirdas Petruševičius to act as witness, testified that during the search the cold weapon was found on Leonas Laurinskas, the weapon for which he was brought to trial.
Findings of the court:
The accused L. Laurinskas was arrested on December 23, 1948 and sentenced under article 58 to 25 years imprisonment. In 1955 the case was reviewed and the sentence reduced to 15 years imprisonment. On November 23, 1963 Laurinskas returned from the labor camp and began meeting with former "gang" members. On December 23, 1974 a cold weapon was found in his possession. There are no mitigating circumstances. The court sentences him to one year imprisonment to be served in strict regime camps.
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Vilnius. On June 25, 1975 Mindaugas Tamonis wrote a letter to the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party demanding that Christian culture be allowed to develop.
On June 27th, a Security agent came to Tamonis' place of work and demanded that Mindaugas enter the Vilnius Psychiatric Hospital. Tamonis did not obey. That same evening, a Security police captain came in a car with orderlies to Tamonis' residence and took him to the psychiatric hospital at Vasaros g. no. 5.
On June 29th. Tamonis' mother died suddenly. Only at the very last minute was he allowed to go to the funeral, after a telephone inquiry was received about him from a Western embassy. After the funeral, Tamonis had to return to the hospital. At first, Tamonis was held in the so-called observation ward, and later was transferred to the first ward. So far no therapy procedure has been assigned to him; therapy will be assigned later. His doctor is Radavičius.
Vilnius. In July 1975 Bronius Naudžiūnas, a resident of Vilnius, received permission to emigrate to Canada to be with his brother. He paid dearly for this permission—he was twice committed to psychiatric hospitals (from 6/2/72 to 7/29/72 at Moscow Psychiatric Hospital No. 15 and from 11/19/74 to 12/19/74 in the first ward of the Vilnius Psychiatric Hospital at Vasaros g. no. 5, and once to the Pravieniškiai Labor Camp (from 12/3/72 to 12/3/73) for defaming the Soviet government.
We are printing below his statement to the United Nations Secretary General.
Mr. Secretary General:
An insoluble situation has forced me to turn to you. My name is Naudžiūnas, I live in Vilnius. For a number of years I have been trying to get permission from the Soviet government to emigrate to Canada where my brother lives and from whom I was separated by the war. My brother has twice sent me an invitation to come to Canada, but all the Soviet government bureaus with which I have had to deal have given me the verbal reply "impossible" or simply labelled me a criminal.
The Soviet Union signed a declaration of fundamental human rights, which also deals with the question of moving. This declaration is not being carried out in my case. In one Soviet agency I was told that I must know why I am not allowed to leave.
Yes, I am well aware of my tragedy!
I was ten years old when our house was surrounded by soldiers with machine-guns, when, along with my twelve year-old brother, I was arrested and deported to Siberia. I experienced all kinds of nightmares in camps and psychiatric hospitals. My father was tortured to death in prison in 1946. Our mother was not home that day when we children were taken away. She was arrested later and sent to another camp. She died in 1952 in Krasnoyarsk.
In 1974 I wrote the Canadian Embassy asking them to intercede with the Soviet government. I received an absurd reply, probably written on the basis of Soviet information supplied to the Canadian Embassy. The reply was unsigned and unstamped and stated that I could not be separated from my parents.
From what parents? I was separated from them by Soviet officials while still a child, and they perished in labor camps. How ironic! With one stroke of the pen, my parents were resurrected from their unmarked graves in 1974 in order to keep me from joining my real brother. I lived in complete poverty, in a shanty I built from planks when I returned from Siberia.
After crushing Fascism in 1948, the hand of our country's "liberating" soldier did not falter, the hand that threw us, children, into cattle cars and shipped us to Siberia. Where is the guarantee this will not happen again? I thus live in constant fear and poverty and I have no ties to the Soviet Union. My dream is to live in Canada with my brother who agrees to look after me.
I sincerely hope that you and the United Nations Committee for Human Rights will help me realize my dream. All men have yearnings which are part of mankind's yearning for freedom and peace. If my dream comes true, the earth will have one more happy man.
Bronius Naudžiūnas, son of Zigmas Lithuanian SSR Vilnius 15 Vilkpėdės g. 8a-l
My brother's address:
Al. Nugent 1183 Rideau St. Sudbury, Ont. Canada
December 26, 1974