Since the time I swore on Facebook, in frustration at Lithuania’s LGBT and refugee policies, there have been several legal battles and attempts to throw me out of the City Council. So far, I am still in the Council.
Now I hear someone is making another attempt to throw me out, based on an old court judgement that says my words in one Facebook post “characterize me as disloyal to Lithuania”. The court didn’t say that I am disloyal to Lithuania, they only said my words make me sound disloyal. And they didn’t make any legal arguments or refer to any statutes, they just wrote an opinion out of nowhere. This is not what the justice system is supposed to do.
But that’s not the stupidest thing. The stupidest thing is that the case wasn’t about my loyalty to Lithuania, it was about whether or not I insulted a Lithuanian with my words.
The court ruled, twice, that I said nothing insulting and that I don’t have to compensate anyone who felt insulted.
This should be obvious, because the guy was asking for 1000EUR, so if he won the case then every Lithuanian could sue me for 1000EUR. That would be ridiculous and a massive limit on politicians’ freedom of expression.
The case was not about my loyalty to Lithuania. So the court should have just said I won the case and forced the guy to pay my expenses. End of story.
The court refused to force him to pay my expenses, and said some totally irrelevant stuff about my loyalty to Lithuania. Judges aren’t allowed to talk about irrelevant stuff in their judgements, they have to stick to the case they are deciding and not add extra paragraphs according to their feelings. So the judgement is, in my opinion, unlawful. I appealed.
Based on this dodgy judgement, the judges also complained about me to the Municipality’s Ethics Commission, who had already debated the case and punished me. The punishment was to ask me to apologise, even though I had already apologised more than once. Commissions are not supposed to debate the same case twice, but they did. I wasn’t there, I wasn’t even invited. Of course, the judges’ statements prejudiced the debate before it even happened.
The Ethics Commission was told, incorrectly, that I never apologised for my words. I apologised more than once.
So, based on a dodgy court judgement, together with the Mayor’s decision that dodgy judgements are “new circumstances”, added to a lie about my apologies… the Commission voted against me. They decided to ask the Prosecutor to investigate my possible activity “against the state”. Seriously.
That escalated quickly! I swore once, and now I am a potential terrorist?
Of course I’m not a terrorist, the Ethics Commission just doesn’t know the law. Swearing about Lithuania on Facebook is not “activity against the state”. People are playing politics with the legal system.
The Prosecutor was never actually asked to investigate me, presumably because the situation is so absurd and unjustified that it would be stupid to actually ask the Prosecutor about it, because he would have to throw the case out anyway, and that would be embarassing for the Municipality.
National elections are coming, and dirty politicians are looking for ways to throw dirt. So now someone is trying AGAIN to throw me out of the Council, collecting signatures against me. And I hear that they are using that dodgy court judgement about my “loyalty” as the basis of their argument.
Unfortunately not many Councillors fully understand the law, and they haven’t read the documents or heard my counterarguments, so they think the court said I am disloyal to Lithuania, and that’s the end of the story for them. “Seems legit”, they think, so they sign the papers and they want me to be thrown out because they think I don’t love Lithuania (even if I chose to live here for twelve years and serve the City for 200EUR per month).
I complained to the Supreme Court about the lower court’s dodgy judgement, but they refused to consider the complaint because it’s not of huge national importance. OK, but… if I will be thrown out of a seat I won in a democratic election, then that would definitely be important, and I would have a strong case in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Strasbourg doesn’t like this kind of thing.
If any of these people attacking me really loved Lithuania, they would hate to see Lithuanian courts becoming a political tool, and they would hate to see an elected politician thrown out for such a small reason.
I love Lithuania, so I am fighting against this corruption of Lithuanian democracy, and I hope democracy will win. It would be a shame if the only way I can find justice is in Strasbourg in a case called Mark Adam Harold vs Lithuania, but if that’s the way these dirty politicians want to play it, then I’m ready.
People died for democracy. I’m alive so I will defend it. I am allowed to say what I think on Facebook, even if it’s uncomfortable for some people, even if some people don’t like my vocabulary. I was elected by people who know I swear and they don’t mind. Democratically elected. I’ve done one small thing and apologised for it many times. Throwing me out just for that small thing would be a very serious move, denying all my thousands of supporters their chosen voice in the Council.
Lithuania wants to be seen as “not Russia”, so hopefully I won’t be thrown out of my seat by a politicised court decision just because some people don’t like my opinion about gay marriage and refugees.
My opponents want me to be replaced by someone who will vote differently, less independently. They want someone more controllable.
You didn’t vote for someone controllable, you voted for me. You voted for a fighter. I even had to go to court before the elections, just to be allowed to be a candidate, and I won.
Now I have to defend my seat, again. OK.
All the legal documents and court judgements are here:
Fun fact desertui:
I asked The State Language Commission about the correct translation of “Fuck you”, because newspapers translated it as “Pisau tave” (meaning literally “I violently have sexual intercourse with you”), and Lietuvos Rytas even wrote that I “threatened to rape Lithuania”. The State Language Commission replied that there’s no official list of foreign swearwords, but there is a dictionary of slang where it says the best translation would be “Eik velniop”, meaning “go to the devil”.
Here’s their official reply to me. http://markasftw.com/pdf/vlkk_fuckyou.pdf
So all of this huge scandal about my potentially terrorist activity happened after I said “Lithuania, go to the devil! Accept refugees and legalise gay marriage!”. That’s all.
If politicians aren’t allowed to say that kind of thing in Lithuania, and people who say “go to the devil” can be thrown out of the seats they won in free and fair elections, then it’s a bad sign for the health of Lithuanian democracy and justice.
I am loyal to Lithuania, so I’m not going to let the enemy win without a fight.