Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted
The Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS) was founded in April 1978 by Charter 77 signatories, although this organisation was independent from Charter 77. The aim of this organisation was to monitor cases of persons that were criminally prosecuted or kept in prison because of their beliefs or became victims of police and judicial despotism. VONS helped individuals facing persecution to obtain legal representation and acted as mediators in acquiring assistance of a financial or other nature. VONS informed the Czechoslovak and international public (e.g. via Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and the BBC) about these cases. Thus, VONS also tried to publicise “non-prominent” Czechoslovak persecuted dissidents, who were not so well-known. A number of VONS members were persecuted by the communist regime; some of them were kept in prison or were forced to emigrate. VONS was also active after November 1989, when it focused on amending the criminal code or preparing rehabilitation laws. In 1996 VONS suspended its activities for an indefinite period.
Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
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Date of founding
Acronym (if any)
Members (in the COURAGE Registry)
Type of organisation
- other non-profit organization
- Charter 77 Foundation Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
- Ivan Medek Collection of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
- Jan Tesař Collection at the Moravian Museum
- Jiří Ruml Collection
- Milan Hübl Collection
- VONS Collection at Libri Prohibiti
- VONS Collection of Czechoslovak Documentation Centre
Author(s) of this page
- Kůželová, Michaela
Centrum pro dokumentaci totalitních režimů. 2017. "Výbor na obranu nespravedlivě stíhaných (VONS)." Accessed May 15. http://www.vons.cz/uvod.
Libri prohibiti. 2017. "Výbor na obranu nespravedlivě stíhaných. VONS. (1958) 1977–2006. Katalog." Last modified March 10. http://www.libpro.cz/docs/vons-katalog-celek_1489476734.pdf.