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Prisoners of Conscience

  • Prayer Rally at Soviet UN Mission for Soviet Pocs and Wallenberg

    About 100 people gathered in front of the Soviet UN Mission to the United Nations Tuesday to pray for Jewish Prisoners of Conscience in the Soviet Union. With temperatures in the 90’s, many of those present were fasting as the rally coincided with Tisha B’Av (the ninth of the month of Av), when both the… More ▸

  • Does Glasnost Include Everyone but the Jews?

    To what extent does glasnost reach the Jews of the Soviet Union? News out of Moscow presents a disparate picture of Soviet government openness. Frequent stories of relaxation of restrictions on demonstrations are countered by reports by Soviet Jewry activists and recent Soviet Jewish emigres that Jews are still being harassed, and in fact even… More ▸

  • Three Get Exit Visas

    An unofficial Moscow Hebrew teacher and two second-generation refuseniks have been granted exit visas to Israel, according to the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry and the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. They are: Mikhail Kholmyansky, a physicist and unofficial Hebrew educator who had been refused for nine years and is the brother of former… More ▸

  • Trip to Israel Via Rumania of Former Poc’s Not Seen As Precedent

    Two prominent former Prisoners of Conscience who were released from a labor camp March 19 arrived in Israel Thursday via a direct flight from Rumania, according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). Mark Nepomniashchy and Yakov Levin, father and son-in-law, were travelling with their wives via Bucharest “on principle, to create a precedent,”… More ▸

  • Glasnost Hasn’t Helped Soviet Jews Seeking Visas, Begun Tells Hearing

    Despite the new Soviet “glasnost” policy, Soviet Jews eligible for emigration are still denied exit visas, according to long-time refusenik leader Iosif Begun. Begun testified by telephone Tuesday to a hearing on Soviet Jewry held by the New York City Council Subcommittee on Human Rights, chaired by Noach Dear of Brooklyn. “There has been no… More ▸

  • Two Long-term Refuseniks Are Granted Permission to Emigrate

    Two long-term refuseniks and former Prisoners of Conscience have been granted permission to emigrate from the Soviet Union, according to Soviet Jewry activist groups here. Mark Nepomniashchy, a 56-year-old electrical engineer from Odessa, and his son-in-law, Yakov Levin, a 28-year old Hebrew teacher from Moscow, will immigrate to Israel. Both men were refused exit visas… More ▸

  • Demonstrations in Soviet Union

    Two hundred Soviet Jews gathered April 26 in the Jewish section of the Moscow cemetery for services commemorating Yom Hashoah, according to the National Council for Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). The gathering was led by former Prisoner of Conscience Iosif Begun. There was also a demonstration of 30 people in front of the offices of TASS,… More ▸

  • Behind the Headlines a Simmering Dispute

    The disclosure this week that the Soviet Union agreed to ease the emigration of Soviet Jews and to allow a more liberal policy toward Jews within the Soviet Union–a claim which the Soviets denied Thursday–brought to the surface a long-simmering behind-the-scenes dispute between various Soviet Jewry groups in the United States, revealed in interviews by… More ▸