25th Anniversary of the Human Rights Center "Viasna"

Today is the 25th anniversary of the human rights center "Viasna." It was created in the hot April days of 1996 when a wave of large-scale protests against the policy of Alexander Lukashenko swept across Belarus.

The trigger for the protests was the signing of an agreement on creating a community of Belarus and Russia on April 2. Lukashenko saw a real chance to be on the Moscow throne and was ready to sacrifice our country's independence for this. Tens of thousands of Belarusians opposed this on the streets and squares of Minsk, and then the dictator used his watchdogs against people for the first time.

Even then, "Viasna" was engaged in helping the arrested and their families. Of course, Lukashenko and his footmen did not like this, which increased the pressure on the human rights center. The organization was registered as a public association only in 1999, but only four years later, it lost its registration.

Both ordinary members of the human rights center and its head Ales Bialiatski, who was sentenced to imprisonment in 2011, have been subjected to repression and persecution. Nevertheless, even in the darkest times of the dictatorship, Viasna has helped and continues to help Belarusians facing persecution by the authorities.

Today, like 25 years ago, "Viasna" is at the forefront of the fight against the lawlessness perpetrated by the Lukashenko regime. The employees of the center are real heroes. Their names will be inscribed in golden letters in the book Solidarity of the new Belarus.
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