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Prisoners of Conscience

  • Office Opened in Moscow by Ucsj to Monitor Soviet Human Rights

    An office to monitor Soviet emigration and human rights practices has been opened in Moscow, the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews has announced. The Moscow Bureau on Exit, Human Rights and Rule of Law in the USSR was opened Monday as a joint venture of the Union of Councils and the Moscow-based Public Committee… More ▸

  • Israel Lashes out at Rights Group over ‘politically Motivated’ Report

    Israel lashed back at Amnesty International on Tuesday, charging that the London-based organization which monitors human rights violations around the world relied on “politically motivated and tainted sources” for the accusations against Israel published in its 1990 annual report just released here. The 298-page report details Amnesty’s concerns over the treatment of political prisoners, minorities… More ▸

  • Sharansky Meets with Mandela, but Fails to Sway Him on the PLO

    Natan Sharansky reminded Nelson Mandela on Friday that Israel was one of the first nations to condemn apartheid, and he expressed the hope that the terrorist nature of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Libya would ultimately become apparent to the black South African leader. The two former prisoners of conscience met privately for half an… More ▸

  • Mandela May Meet with Sharansky During Next Week’s Visit to U.s

    Nelson Mandela and Natan Sharansky have agreed in principle to meet in the United States during the African National Congress leader’s upcoming visit here, an American Jewish leader confirmed Monday. “Both sides have indicated that they are interested in the meeting,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. “Now it’s… More ▸

  • Hundreds of Soviet Jews Gather in Moscow to Form Jewish Congress

    Several hundred Jews from all over the Soviet Union convened in Moscow on Monday for a historic conference aimed at establishing the first congress of Soviet Jewish communities and organizations. An estimated 700 Jews, representing 175 Soviet Jewish organizations from 75 Soviet cities, gathered at the Central Cinema, Moscow’s equivalent of Radio City Music Hall,… More ▸

  • Jews the World over Mourn Death of Human Rights Champion Sakharov

    Andrei Sakharov, a rare voice for human rights in the Soviet Union, will be sorely missed by the world Jewish community, which noted his passing with sadness. Sakharov, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and nuclear physicist who died of a heart attack on Dec. 14, was once described by Soviet Jewish activist Natan Sharansky as… More ▸

  • Amnesty Accuses Israel of Using ‘excessive’ Force in Territories

    Amnesty International, the London-based human rights organization, has accused Israel of using “excessive and indiscriminate force” in response to the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The “death or injury of thousands, including many children,” were the consequence, according to Amnesty’s 1989 report, released here Wednesday. The 310-page report details extra-judicial killings… More ▸

  • Chernobilsky Receives Permission, Despite His ‘poor Relative’ Status

    Former prisoner of conscience Boris Chernobilsky of Moscow has received permission to immigrate to Israel with his wife and three children, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported Thursday. For 12 years, Soviet authorities blocked attempts by the Jewish activist and radio engineer to emigrate on grounds ranging from his supposed access to “state secrets”… More ▸

  • Soviet Jews May Become Scapegoats if Reforms Fail, Ex-refusenik Warns

    Jews will be made the scapegoats if the Soviet Union’s attempts at economic reforms do not benefit the average Soviet citizen, a longtime refusenik who immigrated to Israel only last month warned Wednesday. The economic improvements have not yet brought any tangible benefits to the Soviet people and their discontent could soon be directed against… More ▸

  • Shamir, Too, Said to Oppose Sharansky Pick for U.N. Post

    Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has privately expressed reservations over the proposal to appoint Soviet Jewry activist Natan Sharansky to be Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, informed sources here said Thursday. While he admires the former prisoner of conscience, Shamir is concerned that naming him to the highly visible U.N. post might be perceived in… More ▸