Josvainiai (Kėdainiai Rayon)
On December 29, 1983, Father Leonas Kalinauskas, Pastor of the parish in Josvainiai, and member of the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights was summoned to the Office of the Prosecutor of the Lithuanian SSR. Prosecutor Bakčionis acquainted Father Kalinauskas with the text of a warning, as follows:
"The Committee for the Delense of Believers acted without government permission, and without authorization, since October, 1980.
"Together with the convicted priests, Alfonsas Svarinskas and Sigitas Tamkevičius, they created, signs and disseminated no less than sixteen such documents. In these writings, the policy of the Soviet government with regard to the Catholic Church and believers is libeled.
"Systematically, these documents are placed in the illegal anti-Soviet publication, the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania.
"In various ways, these publications are sent abroad, where they are widely used for propaganda, damaging the international prestige of the USSR.
"Father Leonas Kalinauskas assisted the criminal activities of Father Alfonsas Svarinskas and Father Sigitas Tamkevičius.
"In his sermons, he flatters those who have been sentenced and tries to arouse in his listeners distrust for the Soviet system."
Bakučionis Senior Assistant to the Prosecutor for the Lithuanian SSR Senior Advisor for Justice
Father Leonas Kalinauskas refused to sign the warning. Telšiai
On February 17, 1984, Telšiai Cathedral emeritus priest Vincas Vėlavičius, a member of the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights, was summoned to the Telšiai Prosecutor's Office.Assistant Prosecutor for the Republic, Jurgis Bakučionis, warned Father Vėlavičius that for further activity by the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights, he could be criminally liable. Prosecutor Bakučionis blamed Father Vincas Vėlavičius because the documents released by the committee were printed in the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, reached abroad, and so, he was convinced, they did great damage to the Soviet Union's prestige.
Father Vėlavičius refused to sign the warning.
On December 17,1983, Father Vytautas Brilius, Associate Pastor of the Church of Saint George, was brought from his home to KGB headquarters in the City of Šiauliai. KGB agent Edmundas Jakas scolded the priest for his sermon, delivered at Mass, Sunday, December 4, in which he defended Father Sigitas Tamkevičius, unjustly sentenced and libeled in the republic's newspaper, Tiesa. He argumentatively denied accusations thrown up in the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, saying that the cross on the Amaliai Road had been taken down only because gaslines had to be laid.
He reminded the people of Šiauliai that they themselves remember well how, without any serious grounds, the crosses on the Meškuičiai Hill of Crosses, were being wrecked by bulldozers. He encouraged the faithful, saying that after Fathers Sigitas Tamkevičius and Alfonsas Svarinskas had been taken care of, that they should not cave in or be frightened, since the Constitution of the USSR had still not been changed, and the faithful have the right, freely to confess their faith. Repressions against priests and faithful are only threats, incompatible with any laws. These are shameless crimes by the state.
The chekist was interested to know on what basis Father Brilius defends the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania. Had he read this magazine and could he confirm the truth of facts brought up in it?
The priest stated that he had read the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, he has no way of checking all the facts; however, he can confirm that no small part of them are true, as for instance, the discharge of his mother, Mrs Ona Brilienė from her duties as teacher, on account of her religious convictions, as was mentioned in one of the first issues of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania.
When the chekist asked on what basis he defends Father Sigitas Tamkevičius, recognized by the courts as guilty, Father
Brilius responded that from history, it is known that all trials are just, and that he knew Father Sigitas Tamkevičius quite well as a good and zealous priest, since back in childhood, when the registration card for the aforesaid priest was taken away, he got to work together with him on land reclamation.
At the end of the conversation, Chekist Jakas warned Father Vytautas Brilius that if things continued as they were going, he could expect the same fate as that of Father Sigitas Tamkevičius.
On February 3, 1984, Father Jonas Boruta was summoned to Vilnius KGB Headquarters to see Interrogator P. Jonaitis. The investigator warned the priest not to pray publicly for the arrested priests, Alfonsas Svarinskas and Sigitas Tamkevičius, not to speak against atheists in sermons, "since in the thinking of the public, the atheists are the state. Thus, each word against atheism would be considered a statement against the state," said Interrogator Jonaitis. Moreover, Father Boruta was urged to enroll in the Seminary in Kaunas, since the state does not recognize the correspondence course seminary, and never will.
On February 13, 1984, at about 6:00 PM, chekists arrested Vilnius resident Vladas Lapienis on the street as he was leaving the food store. Taking him to KGB Headquarters, led by Colonel Liniauskas, Chief Interrogator of the Department for Very Serious Cases, the KGB agents carried out a personal search of Lapienis. After the search, Colonel Liniauskas and the Prosecutor for the City of Vilnius, Grinys, drew up a report of the things seized: (1) the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, Nos. 57, 58, 59 (one copy of each; (2) the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, No. 60 (six copies); (3) Grinius' book, Žmogus be Dievo (Man Without God (one copy); (4) a handwritten manuscript, entitled "Memoirs of a Soviet Prisoner", in which Lapienis described his life as a Soviet prisoner and in exile. They also seized his apartment keys, his money, a notebook and other small items. At KGB Headquarters, Lapienis was accused of "disseminating known untruthful fabrications demeaning the Soviet government and the public system." He was made criminally liable, according to USSR Criminal Code Article 199, Part 1.
On February 13, 1984, in the evening, Lapienis was locked up in the KGB isolation prison. All that time he was interrogated by
Vladas Lapienis, born 1906, spent three years in labor camp in Mordovia, followed by two years of exile. He returned to Lithuania in 1981.
Colonel Liniauskas, Chief Interrogator of the Department for Very Special Cases.
The evening of February 28, 1984, Vladas Lapienas was released by the KGB, on account of his badly deteriorated health. However, by order of the Prosecutor's Office, he is forbidden to leave the City of Vilnius. Moreover, they did not return his passport, and stated that regardless of the temporary release, he will nevertheless be tried.
On February 13, 1984, at about 6:00 PM, a search was carried out in the apartment of Vladas Lapienis, at Gelvonų g., Nr. 27-7 in Vilnius, for the purpose of finding and seizing literature of a libelous nature, and the means for reproducing it. In charge of the search was J. Čepulionis, an agent of the Vilnius City Prosecutor's Office. Official witnesses were (Miss) Nijolė Jančiūtė, of Turistų g., Nr. 119-2, Vilnius, and (Miss) Daiva Tvarijonavičiutė, of Studentų g. Nr., 39-223, Vilnius. The search was carried out in the presence of Lapienis' wife, Elena Lapienienė. Lapienis himself was not allowed to be present during the search. At the time, he was being held at the Vilnius KGB Headquarters.
During the search, the following were taken:
1. A notebook with its cover inscribed, "Apreiškimai: Atbanguoja kraujas" ("Revelations: The Blood Flows Toward Us").
2. A notebook, beginning with handwritten text, Lietuvos Katalikų Bažnyčios Kronika, Nr. 1, 1972 (Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, No. 1, 1972).
3. A notebook with handwritten instructions on how to conduct oneself under interrogation.
4. A four-page typescript: "TSKP XXV-am suvažiavimui..." ("To the XXV Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union...").
5. A two-page copy, handwritten text: "TSKP XXV-am suvažiavimui..." ("To the XXV Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union...").
6. A handwritten text in carbon copy entitled, "Pagal tarybinę
Konstituciją..." ("According to the Soviet Constitution...").
7.A note-pad with addresses.
8.A typed brochure, called, "Mano gyvenimo kryžkelės" ("Crossroads of My Life").
9.Pictures of Father Alfonsas Svarinskas, captioned, "Už Bažnyčią ir Tėvynę" ("For Church and Country"), eight copies.
10. A pocket calendar for 1973, with handwritten entries.
11.A handwritten letter from 1983, written by Anastazas Janulis.
12.A notebook containing the text: "Smurtas gimdo neapykantą" ("Deceit Produces Hatred").
13.A notebook containing the text: "Teroru kovoja" ("They Fight by Means of Terror").
14.Three postal envelopes from (Mrs.) A. Rasilienė, (Mrs.) S. Butkienė, Vladas Lapienis and (Miss) Regina Teresiūtė.
15.A postal envelope and postcard, with the sender indicated as Anastazas Janulis.
16.A piece of paper with the words, "Ha, ha! Justice..."
17.A photocopied book, "Aukso mintys" ("Thoughts of Gold") by J. Tauronis.
18.Four typewriter ribbons.
Also seized were a number of books full of notes, addresses and individual pieces of paper with various texts. All together, the report shows forty-five items seized during the search.
On March 21, 1984, Vladas Lapienis wrote protests to the Prosecutor for Lithuania and to the Chairman of the KGB:
"On the basis of Article 49 of the Soviet Constitution, I wished to show the state organs those shortcomings which I noticed, discovered and remembered while under preliminary interrogation, on trial, in transfer prisons (camps) and in exile from October 20, 1976 until July, 1981. For that purpose, I had written the outline of my 'Memoirs of a Soviet Prisoner' in rough draft. Others have written similarly in their own time: Doestoyevsky, Balys Sruoga, Guzevičius, (Mrs.) M. Moškauskiene, and many others. However, I was unable to finish them and send them to the security organs, because on February 13, 1984, the chekists detained me and Colonel V. Liniauskas, Chief Interrogator for Very Special Cases, seized all these manuscripts from me.
"There were many people in the store, and near it. They saw, not only how they picked me up, but also how the chekists sat in the automobile, and took me off to the KGB offices. Thus, when they released me on February 28 from the KGB Interrogation Prison, people began to ask what they had picked me up for, and kept me for fifteen days in prison. I explained that they had found in my possession a manuscript of my memoirs, called, 'Memoirs of a Soviet Prisoner' ('Tarybinio kalinio memuarai'), a few issues of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, Juozas Girnius' book, Žmogus be Dievo (Man Without God), money inherited or brought back by me from exile..., the keys to my apartment and other little things.
"So only now, when I returned from KGB Interrogation Prison, did people learn that I had written my memoirs. Until then, no one had seen them, and no one knew about them. Hence, the accusation under Article 199 of the Lithuanian SSR Criminal Code has no legal grounds, since I did not disseminate or distribute the 'Memoirs of a Soviet Prisoner'. I have not committed the crime of which you accuse me. I do not understand why imaginary accusations are thrown up to me.
"What motives urged me to write? (1) I have read more than once in the press that it is necessary to develop an intolerance for failings, and it is shown there that where we find positive criticism, where short-comings are resolutely and consistently done away with, where there is sensitive reaction to the critical remarks of citizens, their work is much smoother, there the way is blocked against violation of rights. There is less crime.
That there is much to be desired in those places where sentence is passed and carried out is no secret to many people, even S.V. Poznyshev, a professor at Moscow University says, 'It is true that many prisons and colonies do not rehabilitate people, but that is explained by the inefficiency of the organization, and poor management.'
"Even though the XX Party Congress proclaimed the facts about infringing on rights, as bound up with the personality cult of Stalin. 'But this happened,' the XX Party Congress said, 'because Stalin had, in fact, risen above criticism.'
"(2) 'Everyone is allowed to write and to speak everything, without the slightest constraint. Freedom of speech and of the press must be complete. I must in the name of freedom of speech, grant you the right to shout, to lie and to write what you want.' said Lenin. (Writings, Vol. 10, 1952, p. 129) He said this about Party literature, but this Party is now the ruling Party.
"(3) 'Critical evaluation of this or that policy of the Soviet Union, internally or abroad, is not a crime if one is not seeking thereby, to weaken the Soviet government (LSSR Criminal Code Commentary, 1974, p. 139). Can memoirs (a diary) weaken the Soviet government? After all, the Constitution allows us to criticize shortcomings at work, and it is forbidden to persecute one for criticism.
"The Universal Declaration declares:
'" 'Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion...
"Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.'
" 'Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without
interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.'
" 'Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.'
"The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR ratified this declaration. To keep silence is a great offense, not only against one's conscience, but against all of mankind...
"With the leader of the nation of India, Muhatma Gandhi, who was jailed many times, I say, 'Force and deceit convinces no one. Deceit only gives birth to hatred. No one is allowed to improve people by force. I shall faithfully follow the path of truth, restraining myself from any kind of violence to life or property. If I am innocent, but still accused, imprisoned or the prison camp cannot shame me, and the time passed behind bars or barbed wire is not lost, but serves spiritual rebirth most beautifully.'
"Would it not be right and wise to return to me all of the manuscripts including 'Memoirs of a Soviet Prisoner'? Since they are only rough drafts, I would check them upon receipt, correct the mistakes, flesh it out, correct it, write it over and submit it to the state organs as suggestions for improving the work of the offices in charge of the penal system.
"I think that the hearts of the accusers will not be crammed with anger, hatred or even revenge, and a thirst for the suffering and death of the religious believer. However, if the ideal of justice is warped and anger, hatred or even vengeance overcome objective truth, and my accusers have as the basic motive for their activities the desire to curtail my liberty, to force upon me their beliefs, which are essentially at variance with the practice of liberty, I will go to prison or to prison camp with a peaceful conscience to suffer, or even to die there, because the sacrifices of martyrs lay the road for tomorrow's Church. I am carrying the convict's cross for my mistakes, and for my brothers and sisters in my homeland and abroad."
(This statement has been shortened — Ed. Note)
In February, 1984, the chekists in Vilnius arrested the organist of St. Ann's Church, Ignas Šimonis, and the Teacher Podžiukas. Both of them are being held in the KGB Isolation Prison.
On January 21, 1984, about fifty people, most of them youth, had gathered in the Butkevičius apartment (K. Giedrio 1-51) to socialize and to share ideas about religion and other questions. When the doorbell rang, the lady of the house opened the door, and the first to burst into the room were the militiamen. In an effort to frighten the assembly, one of the militiamen shouted, "No one move! After the militiamen, Chief Bagdonas of the Kaunas City KGB, two women witnesses, Chekist Matulevičius, and a few other KGB agents tumbled into the apartment. Not one of them introduced themselves.
The militiamen sternly ordered everyone to produce their passports, and those who did not have them, to quickly put on their coats and ride to headquarters. The guests, desiring an explanation, asked, "What happened? After all, it's not wartime, tell us what you want, or at least introduce yourselves. Who are you?"
The officials shot back that they did not have to introduce themselves. One of the militiamen explained, "We don't know anything. We were told to bring you to the militia station." Some still tried to find out the reason for the visit from the militia, but the officials did not let themselves get involved in any talk, but only grabbed people and ordered them to get dressed as quickly as possible.
A young woman who was expecting, grew pale and began to tremble. A man in civilian garb hurled profanities. Saulius Kelpšas of Garliava tried to stop him, and for that, he was threatened with ten days in jail. Finally, the operations group arrived. The father of Dr. Butkevičius, the host, seeing the sight, grew ill. He required medical assistance and Kelpšas suggested that an ambulance be summoned, but the militia stuffed him into a car. To the same car, they led Father Albinas Deltuva, who had been a guest.
Having thus crowded everyone into cars, they took them to the Požėla Rayon Militia Department, where KGB Chief Bagdonas, Chekists Matulevičius, Rokys and others, began interrogations. All were pressured to write explanations. Some refused to write them, while others, in their explanations, expressed annoyance at the action of such officials. In the interrogations, the chekists tried to blame Kaunas resident Aldona Raižytė and Garliava resident Saulius Kelpšas for organizing the affair. They spoke sarcastically about those who had been present: Vilnius resident Petras Cidzikas and Dr. Butkevičius. The people were kept at the militia station until 6:00 PM.
On November 29, 1983, in Vilnius, during the trial of Father Sigitas Tamkevičius, in front of the Supreme Court building, Kaunas resident, (Miss) Giedrė Striokaitė, was arrested. Militiamen took the girl to the "Training School for Junior and Middle)Level Worker-Leaders" in the Valakampiai section of Vilnius, where they were kept until 5:00 PM. For about three hours, she was interrogated by a KGB agent who would not give his name.
On November 30, Miss Striokaitė a staff member of the Kaunas City Ambulance Corps was summoned to see Chief Surgeon (Mrs.) Sasnauskienė. Waiting for her there was staff member Jankaitis of the Kaunas Health Care Section. He said he had received a report of the incident in front of the Supreme Court buildings in Vilnius, and that he had to warn Giedrė that in the future, such things must not happen. He advised her not to write about and not to "butt in where it was not necessary". Miss Striokaitė did not feel guilty, so she stated that she did not understand what she had to correct, especially since Chief Surgeon Sasnauskienė affirms that at work, she goes about her duties very conscientiously.
On December 1, 1983, during the trial of Father Sigitas Tamkevičius in Vilnius, Kaunas resident, (Miss) Joana Bukaveckaitė, employed at the Kaunas City Children's Polyclinic as Registrar, was detained and taken to the militia school. She was interrogated by a KGB agent who would not give his name. He accused her of belonging to an underground convent and with writing a letter to Father Alfonsas Svarinskas, the contents of which the chekist quoted beautifully. Sarcastically, he said, "You love Father Alfonsas Svarinskas so much, and express such solidarity with him in your letter, it's too bad it's all in vain. He has not received your letter, nor will he!"
Asked why Father Alfonsas Svarinskas does not receive letters addressed to him, the KGB agent explained that the general number of letters which a prisoner may receive is determined by those higher up. (According to the directives of the prison administration, a prisoner may send two letters a month to friends, but the number of letters which may be received is unlimited—Ed. Note.)
Miss Bukaveckaitė then inquired why the letter was not returned to her, when the return address was on the envelope—what right does the KGB have to take the letters of others and to read them?! The chekist kept quiet. Miss Bukaveckaitė was released from the militia school at 4:00 PM, but her passport was not returned.
The next week, her superintendent at work tried to force Miss Bukaveckaitė to write an explanation for not being at work December 1, 1983. Miss Bukaveckaitė refused to write the explanation, reasoning that it was not her fault that she had not come to work, and that the explanation should be given by those who held her up.
On December 19, the conduct of Miss Bukaveckaitė was discussed at the workers' meeting. The possibility was raised of discharging her, but in view of Miss Bukaveckaitė's youth, the decision was postponed. Her passport was returned to her by the Chief of the Cadre Section.
Viduklė (Raseiniai Rayon)
At the end of January, 1984, Father J. Tamonis, Pastor of Viduklė, and Ignas Paulauskas, Chairman of the church committee, were summoned before Vice Chairwoman (Mrs.) Stonienė of the Raseiniai Executive Committee. Vice Chairwoman Stonienė warned them not to announce a Mass for Father Alfonsas Svarinskas on January 26, and not to allow visiting priests that day to offer Mass or give sermons. She demanded that Monika Gavėnaitė, the former housekeeper for Father Svarinskas, be discharged from duties as laundress of liturgical garments.
On November 28 - 29, 1984, Viduklė resident Monika Gavėnaitė was summoned to the Raseiniai KGB to see Chief Gardauskas. Chekist Gardauskas considered Miss Gavėnaitė guilty on all counts, and threatened to take her in. Monika Gavėnaitė's principal offense, according to Gardauskas, is that by requesting Masses in church, she supports dangerous criminals, Fathers Alfonsas Svarinskas and Sigitas Tamkevičius. Recently the chekists have been especially emphasizing that it is a state crime to pray publicly for the arrested priests.
On February 11, 1984, at 10:00 AM, Regina Teresiūtė, residing at Laisvė 11, Kelmė, was summoned to the Raseiniai KGB. She was interrogated by Chief Interrogator Leipus. During the interrogation, the following questions were posed: For what purpose believing youth and adults gathered in Viduklė, January 26 and 29?
What did they do? Who organized it all? Why did they pray for Father Alfonsas Svarinskas who, in the words of the KGB agent, is a criminal? How many people had gathered at Monika Gavėnaitė's after services, etc.?
Interrogator Leipus accused Miss Teresiūtė of insulting militia officials in Miss Gavėnaitė's apartment. The girl rejected the accusation, and asked that at least one of the officials whom she is supposed to have insulted be summoned, but no one showed up. After two hours of interrogation, Interrogator Leipus warned Miss Teresiūtė not to pray for the arrested priests in the future, and not to go to Viduklė.
That same day at about 8:00 PM, Miss Teresiūtė was detained by officials at the Viduklė bus station. The officials demanded that the girl get into their car, but she categorically refused to listen to them. Since there were many people in the yard, the officials did not dare to use force.
Gardamas (Šilutė Rayon)
On December 28, 1983, Chairman Buivydas of the Gardamas District, summoned the church organist Genys and demanded that the youth choir not sing in church. The organist reminded the chairman that the Constitution guarantees all citizens freedom of religion and conscience, and so, he did not consider the participation of youth in the choir any crime. Chairman Buivydas warned organist Genys that in the future, he would experience unpleasantness in the rayon, and if that did not help, he could end up in court.