According to the World Liberty Congress, more than 200 dissidents from 56 countries under autocratic rule gathered in Vilnius, Lithuania, this week at a global assembly that formally established the organization. The group elected the pro-democracy activists and dissidents Masih Alinejad from Iran, Carine Kanimba from Rwanda, Garry Kasparov from Russia, Leopoldo López from Venezuela, and Joey Siu from Hong Kong as members of their executive council. Jhanisse Vaca Daza from Bolivia was elected secretary of a larger “leadership council”.
“They will represent us worldwide in our fight for freedom, democracy, justice and human rights”, the organization announced on X, formerly Twitter.
The event was opened by Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis. Participants of the gathering included 37 young freedom and pro-democracy activists from 28 countries who recently created the organization’s “Youth Liberty Alliance”.
We must be more united than the dictators
“You gathered from different parts of the world and have various experiences. You have also faced different obstacles to democracy. Many autocrats in power see you as an existential threat to them and oppose human rights, the rule of law and transparency,” Landsbergis said.
“Our future is unclear and not guaranteed, but we have a chance to fight for a future we want for us and our children”, said keynote speaker Oleksandra Matviichuk who in 2022 on behalf of the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
“It is amazing to see people from all over the world being brought together because we believe in core democratic values, in human rights, in free and fair elections,” said World Liberty Congress co-founder Garry Kasparov according to a press release. “We codified our founding documents to officially create an organization that will play a pivotal role in advancing the cause of freedom worldwide.”
“We all share the dream of being free,” said co-founder Leopoldo López. “We believe that the struggle for freedom, for democracy, and for human rights cannot be isolated in one single country when 70 percent of the global population lives under autocracy.”
“While the United Nations has become a haven for dictators, we, the freedom fighters are united,” said co-founder Masih Alinejad. “We are united to end autocracy and defend democracy and have created the space to accomplish this.”
“We must be more united than the dictators”, the group announced on X.