The Vilnius University (VU) and the Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) were the two schools that responded to the call by Justice Minister Milda Vainiute to help people affected by the defense of Lithuania's independence in January of 1991. The VU Law Clinic will appoint accompanying persons to help the victims follow the legal proceedings, provide advice on writing the necessary please and explain the course of the proceedings, while MRU Legal Assistance Center has offered to provide legal advice and psychological assistance.
"I am happy with the assistance of the universities to the Jan. 13 victims and invite other higher schools to contribute to the free legal aid," said Vainiute.
The victims will also be provided state-guaranteed assistance of lawyers free of charge.
Some 14 people were killed during the Soviet attempts to take over the Press Palace, the TV Tower and the Lithuanian Radio and Television Building in early hours of Jan. 13 of 1991. Hundreds of people were injured.
About 65 persons stand charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Vilnius court, with merely two of them present in the courtroom, while the others are tried in absentia. The majority of the defendants are citizens of Russia.
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