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Lithuanian border guards shot and killed a teenager

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Lithuania’s death penalty for cigarette smugglers

A Lithuanian border official shot an 18-year-old who was trying to smuggle a large number of cigarettes across the Lithuanian-Belarusian border together with accomplices on Thursday.

The business paper Verslo žinios expresses its dismay over the incident:

Smuggling is an economic crime. Although the officials of the border protection agency and the customs office claim that an ‘all-out war’ is raging on the borders, we don’t know what that really means. Even if [the man who was shot] was the owner of the smuggled cigarettes, even if he was a regional boss in the smuggling business or the king of smuggling in all Lithuania, did he deserve the death penalty? You may say it wasn’t a death penalty but an accident. But why should it be an accident when every year a double-digit number of shots are fired on the border?

 

Andrzej Vilenski
Andrzej Vilenski, the Baltic Review correspondent is a PhD student at the University of Vilnius, studying policy.

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