In August, 1981, a campaign was launched to collect signatures under a complaint to the Lithuanian SSR Prosecutor General regarding the unlawful arrest of young people at the Molėtai Lake in the Village of Mindūnai (See Chronicle, No. 49), intimidation and unlawful actions by the militia and security police. Some 600 believers signed the protest. Although several months have elapsed since the incident and despite the believers' protest, young people continue to be intimidated on a regular basis.
On September 22, 1981, (Mrs.) Dagienė, manager of the Naujininkai store ordered head salesclerk Valda Ryliškytė who spent her summer vacation with other young people at the Molėtai Lake to go to the City of Vilnius Department of Trade. There, Valda found department head (Mrs.) Stelingienė and another woman waiting for her. They asked Valda when she began to believe and pray and voiced their amazement and ridicule that she, an 18-year-old girl, still believes in God and attends Church when all the newspapers and textbooks write that God does not exist. . . They threatened to expel her from the Communist Youth League which she had been forced to join while attending trade school.
On September 2, 1981 Daiva Belevičiūtė, an eighth-grader at Vilnius Middle School No. 24, was scolded by the Principal Stasys Ciesiūnas because at the end of the summer she and a group of young believers under adult supervision, had spent several days in the Village of Mindūnai in the Rayon of Molėtai.
On September 3rd, Dean of Studies (Mrs.) Katininkienė took Daiva Belevičiūtė to see Juvenile Inspector (Ms.) Sternberg who placed her on probation to the Juvenile Department. When (Miss) Belevičiūtė asked why, Inspector Sternberg replied: "You're a minor and were without your parents after 10:00 P.M.!"
On September 16th, Belevičiūtė was forced to meet with atheist Stankaitis. When the lecturer did not arrive, the "lecture" was read by Principal S. Ciesiūnas. when the principal began to slander the Church, Daiva stood up and attempted to leave, but her homeroom teacher forced her to stay.
On September 1st, Teacher R. Navickas and Secretary Šimkus attempted to persuade lOth-grader Loreta Vorobyova that "only students who are not members of the Communist Youth are allowed to go to church and pray." When Vorobyova explained that many Communist Youth members and even teachers attend church, the student was pressured to reveal their names; but she explained to the Soviet educators that she was still completely sane and would not betray anyone. At his wits' end, Homeroom Teacher Navickas forbade Loreta to associate with Daiva Belevičiūtė.
On September 10th, Loreta was approached by secretary Šimkus who told her he wished to speak with her. He took her to the
Communist Youth room and began to ask the girl for what purpose she had been to Molėtai, what she did there, and who else had been present. The girl refused to answer the questions. When Loreta admitted that she believes and attends and will continue to attend church, secretary Šimkus threatened that she would be expelled from the Communist Youth League.
On September 17th, Homeroom Teacher Navickas informed the tenth-graders that after class they would have to discuss the conduct of one of their classmates. When the students learned of the charges against Loreta, they began to shout, each louder than the other: "She can go where she wants! That's her personal business . . ."
On September 21, 1981, a meeting attended by school principal S. Ciesiūnas and homeroom teacher Navickas was held to discuss the conduct of Loreta Vorobjova. Since the girl adamantly adhered to her convictions, the Soviet educators began to instruct the girl to disobey her parents. "There are fifteen-year-olds who do not obey their mothers, while you're so big, seventeen years old, and cannot oppose your parents!"
"We are told at school we can disobey our parents from the age of fifteen, but by the militia we are told the age is eighteen. Whom should we obey?" asked Loreta. At the meeting, Loreta was put on probation.
On October 5th, Loreta Vorobyova explained that, in view of events in Molėtai, she no longer considered herself a member of the Communist Youth League as of August 20th. She returned her Communist Youth League card to the Committee Secretary, Assistant Principal Zaleckienė. The teacher began to subject the girl to various forms of intimidation, claiming that because of her behavior her mother would lose her parental rights, and she would be sent to a boarding school . . . Moreover, she pleaded with her to keep her Communist Youth card.
"No, thank you! It's now in your care," stated Loreta on her way out.
Juvenile Inspector Šternberg informed Loreta and her mother that for "being without parental supervision after 10:00 P.M., Loreta Vorobyova was being placed in the custody of the Juvenile Department."
On November 14, 1981, a group of young people assembled at the home of the Kelmelis family (Vilkaviškis, Statybininkų g. 4-3) to celebrate a birthday.
Around 6:00 P.M., as the youngsters were singing and having a good time, the militia and plainclothesmen burst in. One girl recognized the plainclothesmen as security agents from Vilnius.
Without identifying themselves, or presenting any authorizing documents, the officials demanded that the youngsters show their papers. Since the young people did not have their papers with them, they were told: "You'll be taken to the department and we'll verify things there!"
A "voronok" (a vehicle used to transport prisoners — Ed. Note) waited for the young people outside, as did several other vehicles which had brought the officials.
When they arrived at the Department, one of the security agents from Vilnius declared: "None of you will leave until you give your real names and addresses!"
The identification process lasted 4 1/2 hours, although, when the officials took the young people away, they had promised not to spoil the party and to hold them no more than fifteen minutes.
The officials treated the youngsters roughly and one girl suffered a bout of hysterics. The young people firmly demanded that medical help be given her. Only after lengthy pleading did they manage to persuade the militia officials to summon medical help. The nurse who came was very unsympathetic to the girl: once the hysterics had passed, the nurse suggested that the girl be jailed for two weeks because she was drunk.
Around 10:30 P.M. the arrested youths were released. Only one underage girl was detained at the Department and the young people waited outside an entire hour until the middle school assistant principal finally arrived and they were certain the girl would actually reach home.
Following this incident, the group of young people (Birutė Briliūtė, Nijolė Šukevičiūtė, Jonas Vailionis, Saulius Kelpšas, Antanas Žilinskas, (Miss) Cibirauskaitė, (Miss) Cibauskaitė, Stasys Mištautas, Aldona Miliūtė, Regina Teresiūtė, Vidas Striokas, Giedrė Striokaitė, Vytautas Gluoksnys, Audronė Gluoksnytė and Roma Tamašauskaitė) sent a letter of protest to the Lithuanian SSR Prosecutor, in which they write, among other things: "We protest that the militiamen and security agents spoiled our party mood, and if the actions of the officials are lawful, please explain since when and on what basis must the militia be notified when believing young people gather to celebrate a birthday or have a party?"
Leipalingis (Rayon of Lazdijai)
On November 21, 1981, a group of young people wrote the following letter of protest to the Prosecutor of the Lithuanian SSR:
"On November 14, 1981, at Statybininkų 4-3 in Vilkaviškis, in the apartment of the Kelmelis family, we celebrated one of the family's important feasts. Around 6:00 P.M. militiamen led by security agents burst in and demanded to see the papers of the assembled family friends. When the intruders were asked to identify themselves, only Militia Captain Vytautas Šurmaitis — the head inspector— produced identification. All the others — militiamen and security agents — categorically refused to do so. Repeated demands that the law be observed were arrogantly refused with the statement that an official's identification is his uniform. Without stating the reason for detaining us or presenting any document attesting to the lawfulness of this action, they anonymously herded us (twenty-eight people) into a barred militia vehicle and took us to the department "for identity verification". Although none of us concealed his "identity", we were held until 11:00 P.M. We later learned from some Vilkaviškis residents that, at the time, drunk Russians from Kaliningrad were involved in a fight at the bus station, but attempts to summon the militia were unsuccessful because it was occupied with "more serious offenders". We were guarded like the most dangerous repeat criminals; militiamen even escorted us to the bathroom. It is not surprising that such an atmosphere proved very harmful and one girl suffered an attack. We were shaken by the officials' inhuman indifference and by the conduct of the nurse when she finally arrived. At the first aid facility, the girl and her friends were accused of being drunk, scolded and chased out, although no alcoholic beverages had been served at our party! When, outraged at the unlawful arbitrariness of the officials, we wished to write you, Mr. Prosecutor, a letter of complaint against the militia, we were told that writing complaints against the militia is not permitted and we would be charged as hooligans if we continued to "cause a disturbance."
We wish to ask whether Soviet laws actually permit the detention of people without any documents being presented, without the reason for the detention being stated.
The security agents said that we knew very well that religious assemblies are forbidden.
We are Catholics. But do any "Regulations for Religious Associations" forbid believing people to meet and spend time together? We know but one thing: The Constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, the signatures of leaders on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Helsinki Final Act confirm the right to hold one's convictions without interference, to disseminate them by all means , and to share them with other people. It is impossible that the Vilkaviškis militia and their guests from the Vilnius KGB are unaware of this. We protest the injustice.
Please see to it that such crude violations of the law are not repeated.
Signed: Robertas Grigas, Mindaugas Judeikis, Gintas Sakavičius, Roma Tamašauskaitė, Alma Žibūdaitė.
Kapčiamiestis (R a y o n of Lazdijai)
On October 15th, Teacher Šidlauskas summoned ninth-grader Gintautas Valentas and took him to the office, where the school's principal and a stranger who introduced himself as KGB Lieut. Algis Gylys were waiting for him. After asking the student's first and last name and inquiring how Gintas was doing, the security agent mentioned events in Poland. "You should know that bandits from Poland have come to the woods along the border," said Gylys. "You live in the woods; therefore, if you see anything suspicious while walking or picking mushrooms, let us know. You've probably heard how Pioneers helped to detain a person who violated the border and were rewarded for it; they received watches . . . If you help us we'll reward you as well . . ." (The incident involving the border "violator" had actually been a test of the reaction of border inhabitants: a provocateur was released and then chased to see who would give the "fugitive" refuge, who would inform on him . . .). Gintas replied that he does not walk in the woods and does not have time to look for bandits. After promising to talk with him some time again, the security agent let the student go. The principal did not get involved in the conversation.
After class on October 20th, Teacher Šidlauskas summoned Grade 10A student Gintautas Sakavičius to the teachers' room. Grade 10A Homeroom Teacher (Mrs.) Ignatavičienė was present in the room. Šidlauskas asked the student whether he attended school on October 8th. When the student replied in the affirmative, Šidlauskas hissed: "I saw you at the pastor's place that day, and later at the bulletin board. Don't get involved in things that don't concern you and don't agitate others. If you are told to do something, don't do it and tell others not to do it. Let everything said here remain just among the three of us." The student did not promise.
On October 21st, Grade 10A student Laimutė Ramanauskaitė was summoned to the school office where security agent A. Gylys waited for her. The security agent first fretted why Laimutė was not a member of the Communist Youth League. The student replied that of 14 students in her class only six were members of the Communist Youth. The visitor then began asking the girl where she intended to enroll after graduation. "Perhaps in a convent?" inquired the chekist, playing the role of a benefactor wishing to "protect" the young girl from a treacherous path. He also urged her not to associate with the pastor, Father Plioraitis. (Miss) Ramanauskaitė was puzzled: "I'm a Catholic and naturally I consider a priest closer to me than you, a security agent." The security agent then changed his tactics: he began to threaten that he knew everything, he cited the issues of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania which, according to his information, Laimutė had read, he claimed that she was present at the September 26th meeting of young people in Leipalingis, etc. After promising that they would meet several more times and asking, as was customary, that she say nothing about the meeting, he released the student to go home.
On September 15th, during devotions in Šiluva, Algis Rubinas (res. in Žagarė, Tarybų Square No. 1) had barely stepped out of the churchyard after services when he was pounced upon by two militiamen who seized him by the arms and, cursing vilely, began to drag him forcibly and with strange fury to a militia vehicle. They were assisted by a plainclothesman, probably a security agent. When the teenager began to explain that he had committed no offense but had merely come to the devotions, they ordered him to keep quiet and not cause a disturbance, for they probably feared that people would notice. Their conduct created the impression that they were committing a crime, for why else was such speed and secrecy necessary? After pushing their prisoner into the vehicle, two of them lay on top of him while the third sat in front. When he asked why he was being arrested without committing a crime, the militiaman gagged the prisoner's mouth with such force that he could hardly breathe and held him thus until they reached the militia. There, they confiscated his briefcase and, twisting his arms, dragged him to the second floor saying: "Say one more word and your arm will break!"
Two security agents waited in the room. When Rubinas asked why he had been arrested so viciously without committing a crime or a prosecutor's warrant, they did not reply. Moreover, neither of them produced any identification or stated their names. Later he was taken to another room where three more security agents waited. Another young prisoner sat there. Shortly, a young girl, whose sole offense was coming to the Šiluva devotions, was brought in. The security agents asked prisoners where they live, work, etc. Overall, it seems this entire comedy was played out to intimidate young people so they will never again dare attend the Šiluva devotions. More people were brought in later, and strangely all the prisoners were young. The security agents ridiculed the prisoners and used obscene language, threatening to beat them, etc. After holding Rubinas until 5:45 P.M. and without explaining why he had been arrested, they released him to go home.
On September 7, 1981, two students were expelled from the State University of Vilnius: second-year School of Commerce student Alfonsas Vinclovas and third-year School of Mathematics student Audronė Ginkutė.
The expulsion order stated: "For conduct unbecoming a Soviet student."
When Alfonsas Vinclovas asked University Vice Rector Bronius Sudavičius why he was being expelled from the university, the vice rector explained that because, without consulting the vice rector or the school dean, he spent his summer vacation at the Molėtai Lake (attending a retreat for young people — Ed. Note).