On the eve of 13 January, the Seimas adopted the Resolution on the 30th Anniversary of the Day of the Defenders of Freedom initiated by Emanuelis Zingeris, MP, Signatory to the Act of Independence. The Resolution expresses profound respect to the defenders of freedom of Lithuania and the victims, who safeguarded Lithuania’s freedom and independence on the tragic night of 13 January 1991.
The adopted legal act emphasises that Lithuania won a historical victory under the leadership of Vytautas Landsbergis, President of the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas as the supreme official of the Republic of Lithuania. It notes that, in the context of the Soviet aggressive measures applied in 1991 against the independent Republic of Lithuania, re-established on 11 March 1990, the signatories to the Act of Restoration of Independence, defenders of freedom, and volunteers demonstrated their determination and readiness to fight and die for freedom by defending the Lithuanian Parliament.
The Resolution goes on to emphasise that 13 January showcases to all generations that freedom should not be taken for granted; it was not a gift, and it was won through bloodshed. The document notes that this event was one of the factors that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the totalitarian communist regime as well as to the consolidation of democracy and human rights in the post-Soviet space and the return of Central and Eastern European countries to the family of European democracies.
The adopted legal act condemns the decisions of the authorities of the Russian Federation to persecute judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officers of the Republic of Lithuania who investigated into and examined the criminal case on crimes against humanity committed as part of the Soviet aggressive measures in 1991.
The Resolution calls on the Government of Lithuania to take effective measures to ensure the security of Lithuanian judges, prosecutors, and other law enforcement officers exposed to the illegal procedures launched by the Russian Federation.
It is also stresses that, in addition to the readiness to defend the freedom with weapons at hand, it is also very important to strengthen the unarmed defence of freedom by promoting social resilience to lies and disinformation and by fostering historical memory.
Furthermore, the Resolution proposes that 13 January, the Day of the Defenders of Freedom, be declared a public holiday.
The Resolution was adopted by 117 votes in favour, no votes against, and one abstention.