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Prisoners of Conscience

  • Congress Expresses Concern About Human Rights in the USSR

    The 100th Congress, in its first session, has made overwhelmingly clear that it wants an improvement of human rights in the Soviet Union, particularly the right to emigrate for Jews and others, as a condition for improvement of bilateral U.S.-Soviet relations. A resolution strongly stating Congress’ concern in these matters was adopted by a vote… More ▸

  • Poc Zunshain to Be Released Early, Given an Exit Visa

    Prisoner of Conscience Zachar Zunshain is scheduled to be released from a Siberian labor camp, six weeks before his three-year term for “anti-Soviet slander” is completed, and allowed to leave for Israel three days later, according to the Union of Councils of Soviet Jews and the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ). Zunshain’s wife, Tatyana,… More ▸

  • Ncsj Initiates ‘priority Poc’

    The National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) has initiated PRIORITY POC, an intensive effort to free Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience, it was announced by NCSJ chairman Morris Abram. The project will be chaired by Constance Smukler, of Philadelphia, a long-time activist on behalf of Soviet Jewry, and a vice chairperson of the NCSJ. The… More ▸

  • Ncsj Report Rebukes USSR for ‘hollow’ Humanitarian Moves

    The National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ), in its year end report, rebukes the Soviet Union for “a year of dramatic, but largely disappointing developments” in human rights and Jewish emigration. In an 18-page wrap-up of Soviet moves and statements on human rights, released Thursday at a press conference in Washington, the NCSJ assails the… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues Martin Luther King and Soviet Jews

    (Editor’s note: Albert Chernin is the executive vice chairman of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council.) As the observance on January 19 of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. draws closer, I recall arranging for him to address a national telephone hook-up of Soviet Jewry rallies we were organizing in communities nationwide… More ▸

  • Special Interview Soviet Hype on the Emigration Issue

    McGill University law professor Irwin Cotler, an internationally known human rights activist, believes the Soviet Union is presently conducting “a human rights offensive magisterially organized by Mikhail Gorbachev” but signifying little or no change in human rights policies, including the emigration of Soviet Jews. In an exclusive interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here, Cotler… More ▸

  • Tarnopolsky Family Told They Can Leave the USSR

    Ten-year refusenik and former Prisoner of Conscience Yuri Tarnopolsky has been told that he may leave the Soviet Union with his wife, Olga, and daughter, Irina. Tarnopolsky was called to the OVIR emigration offices in Kharkov on December 31 and told they would be allowed to emigrate. The information came from Nancy Rosenfeld of the… More ▸

  • Nudel’s Appeal for Freedom Publicized by a Noted Historian

    An appeal to the West by refusenik Ida Nudel has been publicized by British historian Martin Gilbert. Gilbert, who campaigns worldwide on behalf of Soviet Jews and has written several books about them, wrote a letter on Nudel’s behalf for the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews. Gilbert read this letter, which includes Nudel’s appeal… More ▸

  • Soviet Jewish Emigration ‘remains at a Stagnant Low’

    Only 914 Soviet Jews were permitted to leave in 1986, a 20 percent drop from the 1,140 Jews who were permitted to leave in 1985, according to figures released Wednesday by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. The 1986 figure was 98 percent below the high-water mark of 1979 when Jewish emigration was 51,320. Emigration… More ▸