Vilnius court allows Lithuanian-Polish poet’s descendant to have name spelled with W

Warsaw str. sign in Polish in Vilnius
DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

The European Foundation of Human Rights, which ensures court representation individuals who seek to get original spelling of their names in documents, said Alexia, an underage Lithuanian citizen, had been living in Lithuania for 11 years and has been identified in all registers, school and health care institutions by her original name. Alexia’s father is French citizen Roman Gorecki- Mickiewicz is the grandson of the Lithuanian-Polish poet.

According to the press release, Alexia has Lithuanian documents – a birth certificate and passport with non-Lithuanian letters x and w, however, the Migration Board of the Vilnius police had refused issue of updated documents with the characters that are not contained in the Lithuanian alphabet.

The organization said that the Vilnius court had already ordered the Civil Registry Office of the Vilnius municipality to spell the name of Lithuanian citizen married to a Dutch citizen, Ouwens, with a w in her marriage certificate, with an analogous decision made in connection to the family’s child.

The foundation currently represents Lithuanian citizens in more than 20 cases.

Legal acts in effect in Lithuania stipulate that first and last names of Lithuanian citizens should be spelled in Lithuanian characters in identification documents. The name-spelling issues have often been raised by Poles living in Lithuania and Warsaw politicians.

Lithuania’s parliament has been discussing two alternative bills, with one allowing the Latin characters w, x and q in identification documents, while the other would envisage the original spelling on an additional page of a passport. The discussions are yet to be resumed.

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