The Republic of Lithuania adopted the Law on the Prohibition of Promotion of Totalitarian, Authoritarian Regimes and Their Ideologies. The law enters into force on May 1, 2023. The new law establishes legal grounds for banning the promotion of both totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and their ideologies in public places, and introduces the procedures and rules for recognizing, removing, and replacing public objects that depict the signs and symbols of such regimes.
The new law distinguishes between authoritarian regimes and totalitarian regimes. The law defines the term “authoritarian regime” as “the form of a political regime, the authorities of one person or the persons loyal to him, based on the cult of the individual, the rejection of constitutional rights and freedoms, crimes against humanity and / or conducting war crimes.” The term “totalitarian regime,” in contrast, is defined as “a form of political regime based on unlimited state power, total control of society, denial of human individuality, censorship, political repression, mass terror, rejection of constitutional rights and freedoms, crimes against humanity and / or war crimes. The ban introduced by the newly adopted law extends to symbols of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in 1940–1941 and 1944–1990, and the Nazi occupation in 1939–1944. Also banned is mentioning the names of individuals who are known to have been or to still be active participants in the political, military, and repressive structures of the occupation authorities, or to have actively participated in the decision-making processes that had an impact on the occupation regimes, or both. The law also specifies that the names of organizations, events, or dates symbolizing totalitarian or authoritarian regimes are to be removed from public places.
The law charged the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania — a government research institute focused on studying and commemorating crimes committed in Lithuania by occupying regimes — with the duty to identify those “public objects” that promote totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and their ideologies.
In Lithuania, the Law on Assemblies prohibits the display of the flags, coats of arms, and uniforms of Nazi Germany, the USSR, or the Lithuanian SSR. Also prohibited is displaying the symbols of Nazi or Communist organizations, including the performance of the anthems of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or Soviet Lithuania.