White House Statement on the 10th Anniversary of the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Persecuted


April 22, 1988


In April the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Persecuted, known by its Czech initials, VONS, will mark 10 years of monitoring human rights abuse in Czechoslovakia. VONS grew out of the Czechoslovak human rights initiatives, Charter 77, as an effort to document the plight of those individuals and their families who suffer from various forms of oppression within Czechoslovakia.


Despite persecution and past imprisonment of some of its members, VONS provides a vital source of information on the status of human rights in Czechoslovakia. We note the 10th anniversary of VONS with great admiration for the dedication and courage of its members, both inside and outside Czechoslovakia, and deep regret at the conditions which spawned the Committee and continue to compel its work. We encourage the Government of Czechoslovakia to respect its international commitments on human rights and to extend to its citizens basic freedoms, which all people have the right to enjoy.