The Lithuanian Seimas snubbed Vytautas Landsbergis, chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania (the reconstituent Seimas) and signatory of the Independence Restoration Act, when it voted to deny him the 2015 Freedom Prize on 24 November. Now, however, the Public Council under the Commission for the Rights and Affairs of Participants of The Resistance to Occupation Regimes and Victims of Occupation has addressed Speaker of the Seimas Loreta Graužinienė, calling for the prize to be awarded to Landsbergis.
Vytautas Landsbergis
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The authors of the address, which include various public figures, have demanded that the Seimas follow the law on the Freedom Prize, not to diminish the memory of Freedom Defenders' Day, and not to insult the defenders of freedom themselves. They have also asked to correct the moral, ethical and legal mistakes made by politicians and to present the award to Landsbergis, the nominee chosen by the Freedom Prize panel. The award is ordinarily handed out on 13 January, which is Freedom Defenders' Day in Lithuania.

As reported, the Seimas rejected the idea to award the 2015 Freedom Prize to Landsbergis on 24 November. Afterwards, the conservative politician wrote an open letter to the Seimas speaker, Graužinienė, urging her "not to worry about the Freedom Prize and not to waste time on the issue, but to focus on serious work instead". Landsbergis stated that he would not take the money granted together with the prize.

Seimas Speaker Grauziniene has said she had received Landsbergis' message.

The Seimas Commission for Ethics and Procedures has recommended not awarding the Freedom Prize to anyone this year.

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