Struggle for Human Rights Day in Slovakia Date in the current year: March 25, 2016

Struggle for Human Rights Day in Slovakia Struggle for Human Rights Day is annually observed in Slovakia on March 25. This observance commemorates the events of the Candle Demonstration, that took place in 1988 in Bratislava.

The Candle Demonstration was the first mass demonstration against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia since 1969. This peaceful demonstration was organized by the Roman Catholic Church dissent groups, that asked for freedom of religion in Czechoslovakia.

About 5,000 demonstrators gathered at Hviezdoslav Square, holding lit candles in their hands. Another thousands of people gathered in adjacent streets. The main entrance to square was blocked by the secret police. Although people didn't show any threat, first police used water cannons to suppress the demonstration. The officers yelled at demonstrators and ran sirens to drive everyone from the square. Later the clubs and sticks were used to attack the protesters.

The demonstration resulted in arrest of more than 140 people, dozens of protestants were beaten by the officers. The Candle Demonstration came into the history of the country as the event, that united adherents of different religious and political beliefs.

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