Nijolė Sadūnaitė, 79-year-old nun, dissident and Soviet-era political prisoner, was awarded the Freedom Prize on the Day of Freedom Defenders at a solemn ceremony at the parliament on Saturday.
Nijolė Sadūnaitė
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"I sided with the truth during the grim years of the occupation and I am doing my best to side with the truth in the free Lithuania. To achieve truth and justice, I am fighting for freedom from lies, from fear, from persecution of people with different thinking, from conformism and hipocricy," Sadūnaitė said after receipt of the state award.

The winner said today's Lithuania featured a lot of sores and injustice, dedicating most of her speech of the prominent so-called Kaunas pedophilia case. Sadūnaitė said that the state actions in the case violated the interests of the child victim. A few years ago, the girl was taken from her father's family and handed over to her mother amid protests of a huge crowd.

Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania's first post-independence leader, told journalists that Sadūnaitė's outstanding merits included "the struggle of her life and her moral struggle."

Lithuania's former president Valdas Adamkus said he was happy to see Sadūnaitė live long enough to see the country's freedom, at the same time wishing her "to keep the energy, openness and bite demonstrated in her speech."

In 1975, Sadunaite was convicted for copying and distribution of the Chronicles of the Lithuanian Catholic Church. Sadūnaitė, who became a nun right after school, was sentenced to three years in a labor colony and another three years of deportation.

Upon return to Lithuania, Sadūnaitė again actively joined the publishing of the Chronicles of the Lithuanian Catholic Church and was persecuted by the Soviet security.

On Aug. 23 of 1987, Sadūnaitė along with Antanas Terleckas, Vytautas Bogušis and Petras Cidzikas organized a protest rally at the monument to Adomas Mickevičius to commemorate the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. After years of suppression, participants of the rally sang the Lithuanian national anthem for the first time in public.

In the Soviet-era Lithuania, Sadunaite was viewed as the most ardent enemy of the communist regime who had been targeted by the Soviet press and attempts of ideological press and a simple defilement campaign to compromise her life and work.

The Freedom Prize was established by the Seimas in 2011 to honor individuals and organizations for their role in defending freedom, democracy and human rights and promoting international cooperation for the cause of self-determination and sovereignty of Eastern and Central European nations.

BNS
Įvertink šį straipnį
Norėdami tobulėti, suteikiame jums galimybę įvertinti skaitomą DELFI turinį.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(0 žmonių įvertino)
0
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Education experts from around the globe to meet at an international forum ‘World after University’ in April

On 4th of April, 2019 high-ranking politicians, professors, rectors and the best education experts...

Two Vilnius University Life Sciences Center researchers selected as section editors of prestigious journal

The latest edition of a journal “Current Opinion in Biotechnology” published by “Elsevier” was...

Four out of five returning emigrants admit: they are driven home by the longing for their homeland and close relatives

As Great Britain prepares to leave the European Union (EU), fellow countrymen returning from...

Lithuania celebrated Restoration of Statehood Day

On Monday, Lithuania celebrated Restoration of Statehood day, which featured a solemn sitting in...

Cartography of a private domain: the 1645 map of the Duchy of Biržai

European cartography experienced a considerable rise in the 16th and the first half of the 17th...