Lithuania's dissident, Independence Act signatory Gajauskas passes away

Dissident, former MP Balys Gajauskas

Lithuania's former MP Balys Gajauskas, dissident and 1990 Independence Act signatory, passed away at the age of 91 in early hours of Thursday after a disease, his family said.

Gajauskas was held in Soviet labor camps and prisons for 37 years for opposing the Soviet occupation. In 1990, he was one of the signatories of the March 11 Independence Act. He was Lithuania's parliamentarian in 1992-1996.

Terese Birute Burauskaite, director of t he Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania, described Gajauskas as "a man of an epoch" who remained loyal to his principles, regardless of the long years of imprisonment.

"He was the one to spend the longest term in imprisonment institutions – usually very high-security. He retained his spine at all times, not moving a millimeter towards being more conformist, he never gave up his beliefs for personal good," Burauskaitė told BNS on Thursday.

She emphasized that Gaujauskas had remained creative in the last years of his life and just recently published a monograph.

Gajauskas has said in memoirs that Lithuania's independence was "an achievement of the goal of his life and efforts."

Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis delivered condolences over his passing, describing him as an active fighter for Lithuania's independence who had been deported for ideas of freedom and a man who had dedicated his life to Lithuania.

Source: BNS
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