February 13, 1987 |
Security agents beat protesters and journalists and smashed cameras today, ending a week of demonstrations for an imprisoned Jewish activist that began peacefully but grew increasingly violent. Dissident sources said four of the demonstrators were sentenced to 15-day jail terms. Protests on behalf of Josef Begun have been held since Monday at the Arbat, a shopping mall in central Moscow about a mile from the Kremlin. Three American reporters were detained for more than two hours.
December 22, 1987 |
Jewish refusenik Alexander Lerner, a computer specialist denied permission to emigrate for more than 16 years, said Monday that Soviet officials told him he will be allowed to go to Israel. Lerner, 74, was one of the leaders of the refusenik community and one of the best-known figures remaining after the Soviets moved in the fall to clear up longstanding cases by granting permission to others such as Josef Begun, Ida Nudel and Vladimir Slepak.
April 24, 1987 |
A group of former Soviet political prisoners, freed over the last three months, said Thursday that the releases have stopped and conditions for those still in camps and prisons remain unchanged. "Many expected that the first group of releases would be followed by a second, a third, a tenth," the former prisoners said in a statement. "Today it can be said: Our hopes have not been justified."
February 20, 1987 |
Soviet authorities today freed Jewish activist Josef Begun after more than three years in prison, ending a week of confusion prompted by conflicting official reports on his fate. Begun, a 55-year-old mathematician and teacher of Hebrew, was one of 150 dissidents to be freed in the last three weeks. When his relatives staged protests in Moscow last week demanding his freedom, they were roughed up by security agents.
March 28, 1987 |
About 30 people, carrying signs demanding the right to emigrate, were allowed to demonstrate here Friday with no interference from Soviet police. The protesters, mostly Jewish citizens known as "refuseniks" because they have been unable to get permission to leave the Soviet Union, were observed by an equal number of Western correspondents and plainclothes security police.
February 17, 1987 |
The Soviet government announced today that two more dissidents have been ordered released from prison and that Jewish activist Josef Begun is likely to be freed. If they are released, it would be in line with Kremlin actions to free dissidents whose imprisonment has been an obstacle to better Soviet relations with the West. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev has said the Soviet Union is changing its approach to human rights "for all to see."
February 9, 1987 |
Roald Zelichenok, newly freed from a prison camp, arrived in Moscow on Sunday and vowed to fight for freedom of other Soviet citizens who he says were jailed for their beliefs. He said that his release on Friday came as an "absolutely incredible surprise" despite some signs as early as last fall that his prison conditions were improving. Zelichenok was one of at least 43 people freed from prison, labor camp or exile during the past week, according to physicist Andrei D. Sakharov.
October 15, 1987 |
"I just can't believe it," Vladimir Slepak said Wednesday, just minutes after he had been told that his 17-year wait for a visa to leave the Soviet Union was over. Slepak, the Jewish refusenik who has waited longer than anyone else to leave, said he felt as if he were watching someone else receive approval to emigrate. Since he and his wife, Mariya, were first denied permission to go to Israel in 1970, they have watched thousands of others leave the Soviet Union.
February 15, 1987
E. Robert Wallach, the American ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, had an appropriate reply when asked the other day to comment on the release of 140 jailed Soviet dissidents. "Everyone should welcome their release," he said. "But let us not forget that the system which put them in prison is still in place." There is no question that some encouraging things have been happening on the human-rights front in Moscow.
November 29, 1987 |
Alexander Kholmiansky, a 37-year-old computer engineer and Jewish activist, left his apartment recently to join about 50 others in a demonstration against anti-Semitism. He was barely out the door when three men approached him, flashed their bright red KGB security police identification cards and forced him into a car. Kholmiansky was taken to an opornypunkt , a small police station, and held for three hours until well after the scheduled time for the public protest.