To:   LTSR Procurator

LKP Secretary Griškevičius

From:   Citizen Mečislovas Jurevičius residing at Šiauliai Žemaitės gatvė, Nr. 102-12


By decision of the People's Court of Šiauliai, of February 19,1975, my appeal for reinstatement to my job was rejected. This decision was allowed by the LTSR Supreme Court on March 18, 1975 to stand. It is my belief that the above mentioned verdict and the sub­sequent decision of the appeal should be nullified, and that the case should be reopened for the following reasons:

I was dismissed from my job for negligence, which in my opinion is unfounded. Negligence can be considered as not coming in to word without sufficient reason. I reported my absences ahead of time. I have worked for the respondent since October 2,1965. In all the time I was employed I did not receive a single reprimand regarding my job. I have received more than one commendation. I was held up as an exemplary employee. When I informed them of my unavailability to work, I always stated the reason for this action. I am a religious person. During the religious holy days I could not work and asked to be excused from my job. I was willing to make up this time on other days.

The Soviet Constitution provides for religious freedom, which I practice. I am not employed in educational work and my beliefs do not do harm to anyone. I am a simple worker—a painter. I do not see any hindrance to my getting my job back. Without even seeming to notice these reasons of mine, the Peoples' Court in all formality ruled on this case. The Supreme Court of the LTSR agreed with this decision. This is not fair. I am not a negligent worker, but a conscien tious one; but I do have beliefs which I want to practice.

Please protest the above-mentioned February 19, 1975 decision of the Šiauliai peoples' Court and the subsequent verdict of the LSSR Supreme Court of March 18, 1975, and present this case for reinvestigation.

April 16, 1975                                      M. Jurevičius

The Prosecutor of the LSSR answered that the appeal of Jure­vičius was refused because he failed to obtain the approval of his superiors to take time off from his job.

On September 8, 1975, Jurevičius inquired about his case at the office of the General Procurator of the USSR but he received the answer that his dismissal from his job was lawful.

On December 19, 1975, Jurevičius appealed to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to be allowed to return to work and for an answer to the question: whether "I can receive compensatory free time during religious holidays for overtime I put in, or not?"

On January 29, 1976, the Supreme Court replied that Jurevi­čius had been dismissed from his job lawfully. To Jurevičius' question there was no answer.

On February 10, 1976, Jurevičius wrote an appeal to the Central Committe of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and to the Supreme Court of the USSR. The appeal follows:

"I am a worker. I am a self-supporting individual. I must work and I want to work, but nobody wants to agree with me that even a reli­gious person is also a human being and has the right to exist.. . Is there really no possibility to enforce the requirements of the Constitution of the USSR, which gives everyone the right to believe... You can direct that individuals have a right not to work on religious holidays, and to make up this work on other days. Am I allowed to take my religious holidays off and to make up this work some other time?"

On March 2. 1976 the Procurator of the LSSR responded that any protest against the verdict of the Peoples' Court of the City of Šiau­liai is without grounds.

Once again Jurevičius appealed to the Supreme Court of the USSR, but the Office of the Procurator of the USSR replied that the case had been settled legally and no more answers would be forthcoming to further appeals of Jurevičius.

On April 5, 1976, Jurevičius was visited by a magistrate of the City of Šiauliai, Ramanauskas, who inquired why Jurevičius was unemployed and what was the means of his livelihood. Jurevičius replied that the reason for his unemployment was very well known to them. As he was leaving, Ramanauskas left a warrant for Jurevi­čius to appear on April 6 before Magistrate Ramanauskas at militia headquarters.

There, Jurevičius was shown par. 240 of the Penal Code and was threatened that if he failed to find employment he would be punished. Jurevičius explained to the interrogator that these paragraphs did not apply in his case, since he is not a freeloader nor a bum, but a conscientious, a hard-working individual. Interroga­tor Ramanauskas shot back that Jurevičius and his "philosophy" could go somewhere in the Pedagogical Institute, but if he did not find a job, the militia would find him a job by force.

On April 28, 1976, Jurevičius was again summoned to the militia and Examining Magistrate Milašauskas. The conversation concerned the same facts: Why was the former unemployed, was he planning to appeal, and other matters. Ramanauskas also took part. Jurevičius was again threatened with punishment, trial, etc. When Jurevičius failed to sign the report of the interrogation, he was taken to the head of the militia department, to whom Milašauskas complained that he had never in his life met such an individual and did not know how to deal with him. The head of the militia again inquired why Jurevi­čius was unemployed, and again threatened him with punishment. Jurevičius gave the same reply: He was neither a freeloader nor a bum and was unemployed perforce.

On May 10, 1976, Jurevičius was again summoned to the militia department. Interrogator Ramanauskas wrote out a formal notice that if Jurevičius failed to find employment within a month, he would be punished as a vagrant according to Par. 240 of the Criminal Code. When Jurevičius did not sign the document, two witnesses were sum­moned, who signed it.

In May of 1976, Jurevičius' wife was also summoned to the militia, and she was questioned about her relationship with her husband, the means of their livelihood, etc.

It will soon be two years since this believing individual is made fun of. It appears as if the Soviet Union had never signed the Helsinki agreements.                  

On July 10, 1976, Deputy Jurgelevičius of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania arrived at Šiauliai for a meeting with the electorate. A reception was arranged with interested parties. When Jurevičius explained his situation, the deputy stated that Jurevi­čius had been dealt with justly, that he could be punished. In Jurevi­čius' opinion, similar cases do not arise in the other socialist countries, for example in Poland, where the faithful have the right of not working on religious holidays.

Deputy Jurgelevičius was asked why and at whose order the crosses on the Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai were being destroyed. The deputy explained that the errection of crosses on the hill was "un­hygienic" and besides, the hill was not a historical site.

Asked why for almost twenty years, it was forbidden to ring the church bells in Šiauliai, Jurgelevičius answered that the situation had been dealt with correctly.