Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1997 - Lithuania, 1 January 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a9ef68.html [accessed 21 November 2017]
This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
At least nine prisoners were believed to be under sentence of death at the end of the year. Following elections in October and November, Gediminas Vagnorius was confirmed by Parliament as Prime Minister. In February, Lithuania acceded to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 1097 (1996) in which it urged Lithuania "to institute a moratorium on executions without delay". In July, President Algirdas Brazauskas signed a decree effectively halting all executions pending discussion of a new criminal code by the Seimas (parliament). Nine prisoners were reported to be under sentence of death at the time the decree was announced. Throughout the year Amnesty International appealed to the authorities for commutation of all pending death sentences. The organization also urged the authorities to ratify Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which abolishes the death penalty in peacetime. In its letters to the authorities Amnesty International also expressed regret at the execution of Aleksandras Gudkovas, which it had learned about in December 1995, and asked for information regarding the exact date and place of execution, who was present and whether and how the execution was officially announced or reported. No response had been received by the end of the year.