Defending History’s Evaldas Balčiūnas Again Disturbed by Police at his Workplace



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

For background on the summons the author received from the police, in consequence of his articles on the Holocaust in Defending History and other publications, please see earlier reports here and here. This comment has been translated from the Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil, and the final version approved by the author.

Today, Friday, July 4th, 2014, a woman phoned me at my place of work, introduced herself as a police officer, and asked if my name is Evaldas.

I suggested she find me via my registered private address, not at work, and send a summons (in writing) if she wanted something from me. I expressed dissatisfaction that she was looking for me via a telephone which doesn’t officially belong to me, and that I didn’t know who she was, that there are many and various telephone scam artists at work in the country.

The woman seemed offended. She then read me my home address. I was wondering whether this was standard practice, to give out the home address of a private party to the first person who picks up the telephone. I didn’t have time to tell her that because she raised her voice and said if I didn’t travel to Vilnius she would fine me. She didn’t specify precisely where or when  I was supposed to go in Vilnius.

Now almost two months have passed since my first contact, also by telephone, with Ms. Reda Šimkutė, an investigator from Šiauliai, Lithuania. Perhaps I missed something in my legal education and it is now common practice in the Republic of Lithuania to officially accuse someone of a crime, and to order someone to attend an interrogation, by telephone. But this seems more like a dramatization of Kafka’s Trial.

The Kafkaesque trial continues…

Of course there are mobile telephones now and it is much easier to reach Joseph K. if needed. It seems as if the Lithuanian police are attempting to create tension and fear via telephone calls. If I remember the story correctly, Joseph K. succumbed to pressure and attempted to speed up the trial.

 

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