“Our thoughts are with those who spend this day behind bars.” International community congratulates Viasna on its birthday
The Viasna Human Rights Centre was born on April 26, 1996. On that day, the peaceful Chornobyl March was violently dispersed in Minsk. The police arrested hundreds of people. Ales Bialiatski, then director of the Maksim Bahdanovich Literary Museum, and his close companions joined forces to help the arrested demonstrators. That’s how Viasna was born.
Today, representatives of the international community congratulate us and demand the release of imprisoned Viasna activists.
The Permanent Mission of France to the OSCE congratulated Viasna on its birthday and recalled that six members of the organization are now behind bars.
“Östgruppen, together with civil society colleagues at the House of Solidarity in Stockholm, wishes to congratulate our dear friends at Viasna today, on the organization’s 27th anniversary!
“Today marks 27 years since the founding of Viasna human rights NGO. Our birthday wish is for all political prisoners in Belarus to be freed, including the Viasna six: Ales Bialiatski, Valiantsin Stefanovic, Uladzimir Labkovich, Marfa Rabkova, Leanid Sudalenka, and Andrei Chapiuk.”
Lithuanian diplomat Asta Andriuskiene:
"Marking today the 27th anniversary of the Belarusian prominent human rights organization Viasna in their Vilnius office. Viasna leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski and 1500 other political prisoners serve long prison sentences in Belarus."
Irish Ambassador to Lithuania Séadhna MacHugh:
“For 27 years, Viasna has worked with bravery & tenacity to promote human rights in Belarus – a challenge that increases by the day.”
FIDH Eastern Europe and Central Asia Department Head Alexandra Koulaeva:
“Happy birthday dear friends!
Very special thoughts for those who celebrate this day behind bars, in exile, or under severe repressions!”
ARTICLE 19 ECA human rights organization:
“For almost three decades, Viasna has been at the forefront of the rights movement in Belarus, supporting civil society & democratic transition. Six members remain behind bars – including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski.”
“We warmly congratulate our member Viasna on 27 years of defending Human Rights in Belarus. Sadly, six of our colleagues from Viasna will not be able to celebrate as they are held as political prisoners. We call for their immediate and unconditional release.”