Algirdas Paleckis, Lithuanian socialist leader and former diplomat, was released from jail following a court order on April 6, Monday, with directions for more lenient detention. Following the decision, Paleckis was released from the Šiauliai Remand Prison but will be confined at home for six more months. He has been incarcerated since October 2018 by the Lithuanian authorities on charges of “intending to kidnap prosecutors” and of being a Russian spy.
Following his release on Monday, Paleckis told LRT.lt, “I am convinced that I will defend myself.”
Since his detention, Paleckis has reportedly not been allowed to meet anyone, except his wife on one occasion. The founder of the socialist party FRONTAS has been the target of witch-hunts by the Lithuanian government and right-wing elements in the country. His writings had exposed the role of right-wing mercenaries in the deaths of hundreds of Lithuanians during the anti-Soviet protests of 1991.
Before the decision, the Socialist People’s Front of Lithuania had started an online signature campaign to ensure basic legal rights for Paleckis and to denounce the state-sponsored witch-hunt of socialists in the country. In an outrageous move in March, the Lithuanian authorities demanded that socialist leader Giedrius Grabauskas undergo a psychiatric examination to prove his sanity. Grabauskas has been an active member of campaigns against the glorification of Nazis and for raising awareness regarding their crimes.