ASN organizes exhibition in Prague Road to independence: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania

19. Jan. 2015

Lucerna5[PRG] – On Monday, in the Lucerna Palace on Wenceslas Square in Prague, The Azerbaijani Student Organization, 1win Azerbaijan Student Network and The Union of Georgian Students in Czech Republic with the participation of the Lithuanian Embassy in Czech Republic organized vernissage, the photo exhibition “The Road to Independence: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania.” During the exhibition, which goes from 19th January to 2 February, organizers showed to Czech citizens and visitors of the city more than 40 photographs of the events in Tbilisi, Baku and Vilnius which occurred respectively on 9 April 1989, 20 January 1990 and 13 January 1991. Thus, the three countries together have shown the cost of the freedom for each of them from the “prison of nations” under the name of the USSR.

The event was attended by representatives of accredited diplomatic corps in the Czech Republic, Czech officials, in particular the former European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle, scientists, Azerbaijani, Lithuanian, Georgian, Czech students studying in Prague, diaspora members of the three countries, representatives of media.

“With this exhibition, we want to show that we remember, the way our people fought for independence and we honor the ultimate sacrifices made by our fellow citizens,” – said the manager of 1win Azerbaijan Student Network and supervisor of the exhibition Geda Montvilaite. Next, the assembled guests were invited to honor the memory of all the victims with a minute of silence.

Speaking first, H.E. Azerbaijani Ambassador Farid Shafiev recounted events of the so called “Black January” tragedy in Baku during which Soviet soldiers killed more than 130 people. “The Soviet leaders sent troops under the pretext of reestablishing order and stability in Baku, but in this case it is not clear why it was necessary to blow TV center and interrupt communications in the city. The only purpose of the invasion was to punish the protesters, “- said the ambassador. Shafiev also stressed that despite the extreme brutality in suppressing the protest, the Soviet government didn’t achieve what they had desired and couldn’t break the will of the Azerbaijani people. “The best proof of that is the fact that after 25 years since the “Black January” I’m standing here in Prague in front of you as an ambassador of the Independent Republic of Azerbaijan” – proudly Azerbaijani diplomat said.

Further, Lithuanian Ambassador to Czech Republic Aurimas Taurantas started to speak and made parallels with Azerbaijan and noted that in Lithuania Soviet troops acted under the same scenario as in Baku, capturing TV Tower and the committee building of television and radio. Taurantas noted that the Lithuanian revolution is also called the “Singing Revolution” as people went to the tanks with Lithuanian folk songs.

Minister Counselor to the Georgian Embassy Alexander Chelidze, said that Georgia first experienced the Soviet anger and 9 April 1989 for Georgia had the same value as for Azerbaijan “Black January” and “Singing Revolution” in 1991 for Lithuania. Georgian people that day realized that their future lies outside the Soviet Union and achieved its independence exactly after 2 years, in 9 April of 1991.

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