Strengthening cooperation and promoting democratic transitions for more than 70% of the world’s population living under autocratic regimes: that is the objective of the World Freedom Congress (WLC), which held its first General Assembly this week in Vilnius. During the three-day meeting in the Lithuanian capital, more than 200 dissidents and pro-democracy and freedom activists from 56 countries elected a 34-member council and regional secretaries to coordinate efforts globally. People from Asia, Africa, Europe and America have shared discussions and strengthened ties to stand up to the tyrants who rule their countries.
“It is amazing to see how people from all over the world come together because we believe in fundamental democratic values, human rights and free and fair elections,” said WLC co-founder Garry Kasparov.
A useful document has also emerged from the meeting to help those who have been retaliated against. ‘Path to Freedom: Manual for the Liberation of Political Prisoners’ hopes to serve to support more than one million political prisoners and their families.
Oleksandra Matvichuk, a member of the WLC and winner of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, was the keynote speaker: “Our future is neither clear nor guaranteed, but we have the opportunity to fight for a future what we want for ourselves and our children.
This year’s event, which was opened by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, also included the newly created WLC Youth Liberty Alliance, made up of 37 young pro-freedom and democracy activists from 28 countries.