Ales Bialiatski appointed Ambassador in the Republic of Užupis
13:13, — Politics
“We have much hope that this small symbolic step will be important for Ales and all Belarusian human rights activists" - said Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Užupis Thomas Chapaytsis.
As an Ambassador, Ales has the right and duty to establish an Embassy of “Viasna” at Užupis and an Embassy of Užupis at “Viasna”, has the right to read lectures at the Užupis University and maximally facilitate the promotion of the values of the culture and values of the Republic of Užupis at “Viasna” and vice-versa.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Užupis Thomas Chaypatsis said: "We would like to give to Ales a status which would be symbolic not only because of his imprisonment. We hope that prisons will collapse, and the borders will open, which is why we have decided to appoint him ambassador to Viasna (spring) – the time of hope, growth and renewal. We hope that this is will support Ales at least a little. Užupis Constitution states that "everyone can be free" and "everyone is responsible for their freedom", although now Ales is deprived of these rights."
The appeal of the symbolic republic also states: "We very much hope that this small symbolic gesture will be important for Ales and all Belarusian human rights, solidarity with whom we feel and express."
Republic of Užupis is a neighborhood in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, largely located in Vilnius' old town. Užupis means "on the other side of the river" in the Lithuanian language and refers to the Vilnia River. The district has been popular with artists for some time, and has been compared to Montmartre in Paris and to Christiania in Kobenhavn, due to it's bohemic and never-mind atmosphere. On April 1-st, 1997, the district declared itself an independent republic, replete with an army of 11 persons, but then declined even this army.
Republic of Užupis has its own flag, currency, president, cabinet of ministers, constitution, written by R.Lileikis and T.Chepaitis, anthem, and an army (numbering approximately 11 men). They celebrate this independence annually on Užupis Day, which falls on April 1st. Artistic endeavours are the main preoccupation of the Republic and indeed the current President of the Republic of Užupis, Romas Lileikis, is himself a poet, musician, and film director.