November 8, 2023
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA—Today, the World Liberty Congress (WLC) concluded its historical first General Assembly in Vilnius, Lithuania.
During the three-day gathering, more than 200 freedom and pro-democracy leaders from 56 countries elected a 34-member Leadership Council and Regional Secretaries, released Pathway to Freedom: Handbook for the Liberation of Political Prisoners to support the more than 1 million political prisoners currently detained around the globe and their families, and further strengthened cooperation to build stable transitions for the more than 70 percent of the world’spopulation living under autocratic regimes.
In another first, this year’s event, which was opened by Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis, also included the newly created WLC Youth Liberty Alliance, comprised of 37 young freedom and pro-democracy leaders from 28 countries.
“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 WLC co-founder Garry Kasparov. “We codified our founding documents to officially create an organization that will play a pivotal role in advancing the cause of freedomworldwide.”
“We all share the dream of being free,” said WLC 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 WLC co-founder Masih Alinejad. “We are united to end autocracy and defend democracy and have created the space to accomplish this.”
WLC member and 2022 Nobel Peace Prize winner on behalf of Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, Oleksandra Matviichuk, served as the keynote speaker, saying “Our future is unclear and not guaranteed, but we have a chance to fight for a future we want for us and our children.”
In 2022, Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov, Leopoldo López, who was imprisoned for more than seven years in Venezuela, and Iranian leader and women’s rights activist, Masih Alinejad, founded the WLC in partnership with leading global democracy, freedom, human rights, and other organizations and foundations.
For more information, visit World Liberty Congress