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The local authority of Vilnius on Tuesday refused to issue a permit for the Lithuanian Family Movement to stage a planned rally outside the Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) on September 10.
Vilnius local authority refuses to issue rally permit to Lithuanian Family Movement
© DELFI / Josvydas Elinskas

A day earlier, the State Security Department (SSD) warned the local authority about the heightened risk of violence during protests and other potential threats.

“As mentioned previously, the city of Vilnius decided to reconsider the permit issued for the September 10 rally due to slight changes in circumstances, the context of a hybrid war. Hence today we have decided to revoke the permit issued for the September 10 rally,” Adomas Buzinskas, deputy chief executive officer at Vilnius City Municipality, told reporters on Tuesday.

Asked whether this might constitute an obstacle to protest against government decisions, he drew parallels to “some officers facing an obstacle to walk as they have both their legs broken”.

Buzinskas advised the organizers against staging an unauthorized rally. He also assured that the organizers had refused to consider an alternative venue for their rally.

The request for a rally permit was reconsidered in the wake of a riot that broke out near the Seimas earlier in August.

Some 5,000 people gathered outside the parliament building on August 10 to protest against the government's plans to impose restrictions for people without coronavirus immunity or negative test results.

The rally turned violent in the evening, with some protested blocking exits from the parliament and throwing bottles and flares at police officers. The police used teargas against protesters. Several tens of people were detained.

Following the riot, the local authority of Vilnius annulled its earlier decisions on pickets planned in the capital, which included the rally scheduled for September 10.

BNS
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