[PRG] – On Wednesday January 20th, Faculty of Arts, of the Charles University in Prague hosted a vernissage of a photography exhibition “The Road to Independence: Azerbaijan, Lithuania.” The exhibition was organized by Azerbaijani student organization – Azerbaijan Student Network and the Faculty of Arts and will be open from the 20th of January till the 2nd of February. Organizers exhibited more than 30 photographs of the events in Baku and Vilnius which occurred respectively on 20th of January 1990 and 13th of January 1991. Thus, the two 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 scholars from the Charles University, Azerbaijani, Georgian and Czech students studying in Prague.
The vernissage was opened by the Head of Admissions and External Relations Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague Daniel Soukup who greeted ambassadors and quests on behalf of the Dean of the faculty Mirjam Friedova. In his speech Soukup noted that it is very important to have such exhibitions so Czech population may be informed about events that went on in other parts of the world against Soviet oppression. Speaking after him, 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. “20th January is not just a page of history for Azerbaijanis but also a reminder for those who wish to reestablish the Soviet Union!”, – Shafiyev said. “Today Azerbaijan is a strong and economically powerful country while Lithuania is a member of the European Union and such exhibitions once more show that sacrifices of those people for our freedom and independence are not forgotten” – said proudly Azerbaijani diplomat. The final speech at the event was given by the ambassador of the Lithuania Edvilas Raudonikis. “I agree what my colleague from Azerbaijan said and it is very important not to forget what has happened in Baku and Vilnius and that freedom and independence do not come naturally”, he noted.