The Lithuanian parliament has adopted a new version of the law on the secret service, which does not ban recruitment of high-ranking state officials, lawyers, journalists, and priests by security services.
RFE/RL – 5 June 2002 – The law does ban searches of the president, a representative of the National Security and Defense Committee told Interfax on 31 May. When asked whether the chairman of the parliament, the prime minister, or parliamentarians may be exempt from searches, the official said that the law only specified the president. Under the new law, searches are aimed at preventing crimes and protecting the constitutional system, independence, and other important national security interests and cannot violate human rights and freedoms. However, under this law, certain restrictions of these rights and freedoms may be used temporarily and only as provided for by law.
Some parliamentarians protested against the use of priests as secret agents. The parliamentarians believe that this will make confessions problematic, as “you will never know if the person you are confessing to is a secret agent or not.” The new version of the law goes into effect on 1 June.
(Interfax, BNS, 31 May 2002)
This news item was originally published by RFE/RL, (Un)Civil Societies, Vol. 3, No. 23, 5 June 2002. Copyright © 2002. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
Article on related issues: Nikolas K. Gvosdev, “Espionage and the Ecclesia”, in Journal of Church and State, Vol. 42, No. 4, Autumn 2002, pp. 803-823. – The Journal of Church and State is published by the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University.