“You are the force that moves Belarus forward”: Viasna turns twenty-six
On April 26 the Viasna Human Rights Center celebrates its 26th anniversary. It was on this very day in 1996 that the human rights activists united to help the detainees and their families after the crackdown on the Chernobyl Way.
Since then Viasna (Spring in Belarusian) has become one of the leading human rights organizations in Belarus, working to help people who had been harmed by the authorities and to defend human rights at the national and international levels. In these 26 years, Viasna has grown in numbers and in quality and continues to uphold the rights of Belarusians in spite of the regime's repression and pressure.
Seven members of the organization are currently behind bars for their peaceful activities aimed exclusively at human rights defense: chairperson Ales Bialiatski, deputy chairperson Valiantsin Stefanovich, lawyer Uladzimir Labkovich, coordinator of Viasna's network of volunteers Marfa Rabkova, head of Viasna's office in Homieĺ Leanid Sudalenka, volunteers Tatsiana Lasitsa and Andrei Chapiuk.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya thanked Viasna human rights defenders for their work:
“We are so used to Viasna, which is always around, that sometimes we forget to thank them for their really important and difficult work. Let's do it today. Thank you dears, you are doing very, very important work for all of us,” the politician wrote on her Telegram channel.
To celebrate the 26th anniversary of Viasna, the Freedom Postcards project issued a new set of postcards with drawings made by political prisoner, human rights defender, and Viasna member Marfa Rabkova.
You can get your postcards delivered anywhere in the world for a donation of 5 or more euros after sending the payment confirmation together with the delivery address. The contacts can be found here: https://linktr.ee/pashtouki
Belarusian Student Association also congratulates Viasna:
“BSA congratulates Viasna on its founding day and wishes you further success in your advocacy work. We thank you for your selfless work,” reads the post on Association's Telegram channel.
Send your greetings to Viasna
We have launched a virtual board where everyone can post wishes and words of support for our imprisoned colleagues and for the rest of the Viasna members. Sympathetic Belarusians have already written many warm words for the anniversary of the organization's founding.
“Dear people of Viasna! You are the force that has been moving Belarus forward for many years, and it is your efforts that make our survival and progress possible.” says one of the messages.
Join Belarusians in congratulating human rights defenders on their anniversary!
The Spring is all around!