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Jan Lityński, former dissident, ex-presidential adviser, dies at 75

Veteran Polish politician Jan Lityński, a onetime dissident, longtime parliamentarian and former presidential adviser, has died at the age of 75.

He drowned in a river while trying to save his dog, a friend told the media on Sunday.

Lityński was born in Warsaw on January 18, 1946. Under communism, he was a prominent opposition activist, political prisoner and co-founder of the anti-government Workers’ Defence Committee (KOR) organisation.

In 1968, he was expelled from university for taking part in student protests. On March 12, 1968, he was detained and then sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. In 1969, he was released under an amnesty.

In 1980, he became an advisor to the leaders of Poland’s legendary Solidarity trade union. He was interned during the country’s martial law period until September 1982, then imprisoned.

From 1984, he worked underground as a leading Solidarity activist in the central Mazovia region.

In 1989, he took part in the democratic opposition’s Round Table talks with the country’s communist authorities.

After the fall of communism, he was a member of the lower house of Poland’s parliament from 1989 to 2001. From 2010 to 2015, he served as an advisor to then-President Bronisław Komorowski.

His honours included the Commander’s Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order, a high state award he received from President Lech Kaczyński in 2006.