The Lithuanian parliament has passed a law banning promotion of “totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and their ideologies” in public places. The legislation is intended to force the removal of Soviet era monuments in the country, LRT reports.
On Tuesday, 103 members of the Seimas voted in favour of the so-called “desovietisation law”, while six abstained. It has yet to be signed by the President.
The ban will apply to any form of commemoration or representation of persons, symbols, information linked to totalitarian or authoritarian regimes and ideologies.
The law is meant to provide a legal basis to remove Soviet-era monuments, memorials, street names, and other objects from public spaces.
The prohibitions will not apply to museums, archives, libraries when organising exhibitions, informing the public about totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and their consequences, and using such objects and information for the purposes of education, scholarship, professional art, and collecting.
It will be up to the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Centre or municipal authorities to decide if an object falls under the law. A special inter-institutional commission will have to submit its assessment beforehand.
The law still needs to be signed by the president. It will come into force on May 1.
At the moment, Lithuania has a law that provides for administrative liability for displaying, distributing or propagating Nazi and Soviet symbols.