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Prisoners of Conscience

  • Iosif Begun Arrives in Moscow

    Former Soviet Prisoner of Conscience Iosif Begun arrived in Moscow Monday morning following his release Friday from Chistopol Prison in the Tatar Republic of the USSR. He was pardoned last week after serving three years for “anti-Soviet activities” as a result of his teaching of Hebrew. Begun was met at the Moscow train station by… More ▸

  • Soviet Jewish Dissident Begun Pardoned, Set for Release Friday, Ncsj Reports

    Soviet Jewish dissident Iosif Begun will receive an unconditional pardon and be released from Chistopol prison 10 a.m. Friday, local time, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Thursday. Jerry Goodman, executive director of the NCSJ, said Begun’s wife, Inna was contacted Wednesday by Soviet Minister of Interior Aleksandr Vlasov. He… More ▸

  • U.S. Urges USSR to Release Begun

    The Reagan Administration urged the Soviet Union Tuesday to release longtime Jewish refusenik Iosif Begun from prison without him having to sign a statement agreeing not to continue teaching Hebrew. “We are disturbed at the news that imprisoned Hebrew teacher Iosif Begun is not being released because he has refused to sign such a statement,”… More ▸

  • Focus on Issues Trying to Assess Changes in USSR Policy on Emigration and Dissidents

    Soviet Jewry activists trying to assess recent changes in Soviet policy on emigration rights and dissidents in general, have welcomed the unexpected release of political prisoners, including Jewish Prisoners of Conscience but remain strongly skeptical as to whether these moves indicate a genuine change of direction by the Soviet leadership or are merely a cosmetic… More ▸

  • Poc Says He Was Surprised by His Release from a Soviet Labor Camp

    Prisoner of Conscience Roald (Alex) Zelichonok was surprised by his release from a labor camp in Kazakhstan over the weekend. “Now my problem is to leave here and make my way to Israel,” he told Voice of Israel Radio by telephone from Leningrad Monday in what he said was his first conversation in Hebrew in… More ▸

  • Kirkpatrick Sees Hope for Refuseniks in the New Soviet ‘glasnost’ Policy

    Jeane Kirkpatrick, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, just returned from Moscow, said at a press conference here that the new Soviet openness (“glasnost”) gives new hope for separated spouses, refuseniks and others who want to emigrate from the USSR. She mentioned by name several prominent Jewish refuseniks. Kirkpatrick, whose militant anti-Communism was… More ▸

  • Poc Released Halfway Through His Three-year Term in a Labor Camp

    A Soviet Jewish Prisoner of Conscience, Roald Zelichonok of Leningrad, has been released early from a labor camp and the Soviet Supreme Court may review the case of another POC, Vladimir Lifschitz. The freeing of Zelichonok half way through his three-year term in a labor camp in the Kazakh region was apparently the result of… More ▸

  • Natan and Avital Shcharansky Given Awards by the Wiesenthal Center

    “He commands no armies, he holds no elective office. Yet his weapon, truth, has made the mightiest of powers stand in fear.” This was how Natan Shcharansky was described by William Belzberg, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, at a dinner where the former prisoner of Conscience was awarded… More ▸

  • Jewish Women in Moscow Organize to Fight for the Release of Pocs

    For Jews in the West to fight for the release of Prisoners of Conscience and the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate is natural. For a group of Jewish women in Moscow to take a lead in doing this is remarkable. Such a group exists — “Jewish Women Against Refusal.” They are refuseniks and the… More ▸