Human Rights House Network celebrates its 20th anniversary
The International Human Rights House Network celebrates its 20th anniversary. The festivities with the participation of the Belarusian human rights defenders and representatives of non-governmental organizations are taking place these days are in Oslo.
Nowadays, the Human Rights House Network brings together more than 100 non-governmental organizations, members of the 16 houses in 13 countries in Europe, the Caucasus, the Balkans and East Africa.
The festivities are also attended by representatives of Belarus: the head of the HRC "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski, President of the Belarusian Human Rights House in exile Tatsiana Reviaka, its director Hanna Herasimava, as well as staff and experts of the House – Antanina Maslyka, Dzina Shautsova and Aliaksandr Vashkevich.
September 9, participants of the festivities held a solemn march in support of political prisoners from the Norwegian Parliament to the House of Literature. Participants of the rally were wearing T-shirts with pictures of political prisoners.
Another part of the celebration was the discussion "The way forward for human rights defenders facing growing threats."
The first Human Rights House was established in 1989 in Norway, and in 1994 there appeared the international network. The basic idea of the fund is to create a place where several human rights organizations could work together, thereby extending their cooperation with the aim to make the organization members of the House more visible and accessible at the national, regional and international levels, as well as to foster the increase of the security of human rights activists. In 2006, thanks to the joint efforts of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, the Belarusian Association of Journalists and the initiative ByWatch, the Belarusian Human Rights House, headed by respected human rights activist Barys Zvozskau, started working in Vilnius. This is the only house in the whole network that has to work in exile, as far as the Belarusian authorities suppress human rights initiatives and it is impossible to maintain all directions of the House's activity in Belarus.