A mural depicting Ales Bialiatski unveiled in front of the Belarusian Embassy in Vilnius
Today, on 21 December, a mural depicting Ales Bialiatski on Vilnius Simonas Daukantas Progymnasium's wall was opened in front of the Embassy of Belarus. The mural is dedicated to Belarus's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners held by the Lukashenka regime.
The initiator of the project - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - selected the location not randomly. It has become a symbol of repression by the Lukashenka regime. The picture of Bialiatski faces the Embassy from Vilnius Simonas Daukantas Progymnasium's wall on the other side of the street.
"The Nobel Peace Prize award for Bialiatski, who has tirelessly defended democracy and human rights in Belarus for several decades, reminds us that authoritarianism cannot curb the will of people who love freedom. Currently, there are 1435 political prisoners in Belarus. Beliatski is today's Nelson Mandela - a reference point for all political prisoners. Tens of thousands of people have been interrogated, tortured, beaten and charged with all sorts of charges to suppress any political activities by those fighting for democracy. As long as they are imprisoned, neither diplomats nor Lithuanian society shall forget these brave people. I hope this artwork will serve as a reminder of grave injustice done by those serving Lukashenka's regime," said Adomėnas during the mural's unveiling.
The artwork testifies to the resistance of Belarusian democracy and human rights activists to Lukashenko's regime. It was designed by the Lithuanian monumental artist Lina Šlipavičiūtė-Černiauskienė, who heads the art laboratory ‘Kiaurai sienas‘, and executed by street artists Gyva grafika (eng. 'Live Graphics‘).
The idea of the project was supported by the Human Rights Center 'Viasna', which was established by Beliatski and had to transfer part of its activities due to the persecution by Lukashenka's regime to Lithuania. Vilnius City Municipality and the Department of Cultural Heritage granted permission to open the mural.
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