Every year, “Amnesty International” announces its Report on the state of the world’s human rights. The latest report looks at the situation in 2017/2018 and identifies major human rights issues.
Universal challenges for human rights
Conflict, austerity measures and natural disasters pushed many into deeper poverty and insecurity; millions were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere in their own countries or across international borders. Discrimination remained rife in all regions of the world, while Governments of all persuasions continued to crack down on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
Parliament considered a law which would severely restrict access to abortion. If implemented, it would restrict women’s access to abortion in cases where the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s life or health, or when it is the result of rape. The President signed legislation which discriminated against lesbian, gay and bisexual people. According to the amendment to the Law on Equal Opportunities family members are defined as “spouses or direct descendants”, effectively excluding unmarried partners and thereby preventing – among others – same-sex couples from being legally considered as family members.
In terms of positive developments, it was noted that in two separate cases, a district court ruled in favour of twotransgender people seeking to change theiridentity documents without undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Lithuania offered visas to two gay men from the Russian republic of Chechnya who feared for their safety.
Appropriate redress and reparation is needed to the victims of Secret CIA detention programmes
The case of Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania remained pending before the European Court of Human Rights. Abu Zubaydah alleged he had been forcibly disappeared and tortured at a secret CIA detention centre in Lithuania. In September, the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances urged Lithuania to investigate its involvement in US-led rendition and secret detention programmes; hold those responsible to account; and provide victims with appropriate redress and reparation.