The Statuette of the Freedom Prize was designed by Joana Noreikaitė after the Freedom Monument by Juozas Zikaras. The Freedom Monument is a symbol of Lithuanian statehood erected in the garden of the War Museum in Kaunas in 1928, demolished in the period of the occupation, and restored in 1989
On 15 September 2011, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the events of 13 January 1991; being aware of the importance of 13 January 1991 for the Lithuanian people and the state of Lithuania and for further political development of the Eastern and Central European region; and stressing the need to further promote the development of democracy and the rule of law, consolidation of human rights, and equitable cooperation in Eastern and Central Europe, adopted the Law on the Freedom Prize of the Republic of Lithuania.
Under the Law, a single prize, amounting to EUR 5,000, is awarded annually (in exceptional cases and in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Law, a second prize of the same amount may be awarded in the same year).
The Freedom Prize honours individuals and organisations for their achievements in and contribution to the defence of human rights, development of democracy, and promotion of international cooperation for the cause of self-determination and sovereignty of the nations in Eastern and Central Europe.
Natural, public and private legal persons from the Republic of Lithuania and foreign countries may be nominated for the Freedom Prize in acknowledgment of their contribution to freedom, democracy and human rights. A candidate for the Freedom Prize is selected by the Freedom Prize Commission.
Every year the Commission selects a candidate for the Freedom Prize and submits its conclusions on the nomination to the Seimas before 23 November. Under the Resolution of the Seimas, the Freedom Prize is nominated before 23 December and awarded annually at the Seimas’ solemn sitting marking the Day of the Defenders of Freedom on 13 January.
WINNERS OF THE FREEDOM PRIZE
Freedom Prize 2011 – Sergei Adamovich Kovalev
Freedom Prize 2012 – Antanas Terleckas
Freedom Prize 2013 – Sigitas Tamkevičius
Freedom Prize 2014 – Adam Michnik
Freedom Prize 2017 – Nijolė Sadūnaitė
Under the decision by the Seimas of 13 December 2011, the first Freedom Prize, that of 2011, was awarded to Sergei Adamovich Kovalev, former political prisoner, fighter for freedom and democracy, chair of the Board of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, chair of the international historical, educational, charitable and human rights society Memorial, and President of Russia’s Human Rights Institute. More
In accordance with the Law on the Freedom Prize and the decision by the Freedom Prize Commission, the Seimas awarded the Freedom Prize 2012 to Antanas Terleckas, fighter for Lithuania’s freedom, human rights activist, active participant in the unarmed resistance to the Soviet occupation, political prisoner, founder and leader of the Lithuanian Freedom League, initiator of the Memorandum of 45 Baltic Nationals, and underground publisher. More
The Freedom Prize 2013 was awarded to Archbishop Metropolitan Sigitas Tamkevičius SJ of Kaunas, founder and editor of the underground publication Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, member of the Catholic Committee for the Defence of the Rights of Believers, and prisoner of conscience. More
The Seimas awarded the Freedom Prize 2014 to Adam Michnik, well known Polish public figure honoured by numerous awards, former dissident, one of the leaders of the opposition movement Solidarity, journalist, essayist, political publicist and editor-in-chief of Poland’s daily Gazeta Wyborcza. More
The Freedom Prize 2016 was awarded to two winners: President Valdas Adamkus and Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairman of the Supreme Council-Reconstituent Seimas (the highest state official of the Republic of Lithuania at the time) and Signatory to the Act of Independence. More about Valdas Adamkus, Vytautas Landsbergis.
At the solemn Commemoration of the Day of the Defenders of Freedom on 13 January 2018, the Freedom Prize 2017 was awarded to Nijolė Sadūnaitė, freedom fighter and former political prisoner. Owing to her underground activities, Nijolė Sadūnaitė is considered to be one of the most famous Lithuanian dissidents of the time, human rights activist and fighter for Lithuania’s freedom. More
Commemorative Medal of Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė “Serve Lithuania” awarded by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
The Medal was designed by Alfridas Pajuodis
The award was established on 13 April 2011 by the decision of the Board of the Seimas paying tribute to the eminent personality of Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė. In view of Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė’s lifetime activities, the Medal is awarded as an incentive of the Seimas for cherishing the traditions of parliamentarianism and fostering civil activeness and democracy; for philanthropic activities; for encouragement in particular and support for the freedom of self-expression among young people; for development of the spirit of volunteering in Lithuania; and for publicly relevant publications nurturing national feelings and spiritual values.
The Medal may be awarded to Lithuanian or foreign nationals, civil communities, associations and other eligible natural or legal persons for their public activities.
The criteria for awarding the Medal are established and the recipients are selected by the Commission for Selecting Recipients of the Commemorative Medal of Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė “Serve Lithuania”, composed by the Board of the Seimas. A maximum of four awards are given annually for every activity provided for by the regulations.
A solemn ceremony to announce and award the winner(s) of the Medal is organised annually in Panevėžys on the 30th of March, which is Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė’s birthday. The Medal of Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė “Serve Lithuania” and its certificate are awarded by the Speaker of the Seimas or a person delegated by him.
National Independence Grant
The Grant is awarded according to the regulations approved by the decision of the Board of the Seimas of 13 September 2017. The National Independence Grant was established in order to encourage Lithuanian citizens to choose an academic career in humanities or social sciences, to return to or remain in research which can be of service to Lithuania; enhance the trust in the state of Lithuania; and motivate the public, especially the young generation, to work for the benefit and wellbeing of the state.
The Grant is awarded to young scholars of humanities and social sciences for the research significant to strengthening Lithuanian statehood and for research projects submitted for the competition to receive the Grant.
The Grant is awarded annually on the 11th of March during the commemoration of the Day of Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence. The grant is awarded by the Speaker of the Seimas or a person delegated by him.
Dr Norbertas Černiauskas, winner of the Grant 2018. Photo of the Office of the Seimas, author Džoja Gunda Barysaitė
Award of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania for contribution to the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, strengthening of parliamentary traditions and the state of Lithuania, and activities benefitting the public good
The Award is conferred according to the regulations approved by the decision of the Board of the Seimas of 18 April 2014.
The Award may be given to either natural or legal persons, namely Lithuanian or foreign nationals, civil communities, associations, scientific, educational, and cultural institutions and other eligible persons. The award is conferred by the decision of the Board of the Seimas and presented by the Speaker of the Seimas or a person delegated by him.