October 11, 1986
The gaunt figure of Yuri F. Orlov, the Soviet dissident released from Siberian exile (after five years in a labor camp), provides a useful counterpoint to talk of progress towards an arms accord at the Iceland mini- summit. Mr. Orlov, deported last week as part of the deal whereby journalist Nicholas Daniloff was freed, had committed the "crime" of defending human rights in the Soviet Union as head of a group that monitored Moscow's implementation (or lack thereof) of the 1975 Helsinki accords.
June 1, 1986
After six months in the West, Yelena Bonner returns to the Soviet Union this week to rejoin her husband, dissident Andrei D. Sakharov, in exile. She leaves behind her children, grandchildren and mother in America. Once she reenters the closed city of Gorky where she and her husband are forced to live, the couple will be cut off again from direct contact with the outside world. Nothing so reinforces the "iron curtain" image that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is attempting to refurbish than the image of that curtain closing off all view of the slight, courageous Ms. Bonner and her Nobel Prize-winning husband.
June 3, 1986 |
More than 200 Soviet citizens have received permission in the last few days to join families or spouses in the United States, a senior Soviet official said yesterday. Yuri Kashlev, head of the Soviet delegation to a conference on human contacts in Bern, Switzerland, told Reuters news service that, initially, 36 cases involving 119 people were approved. Thirty-five more applications were approved Sunday, he said, bringing the total number to "more than 200. " He said none were Jewish or were trying to go to Israel.
April 17, 1986 |
The United States came under verbal attack all over the world yesterday as friends, foes and countries that claimed to be neither continued to assail the Reagan administration for its air strike against Libya. At a human rights meeting yesterday in Switzerland, the Soviet Union charged that the United States had engaged in "overt state terrorism" by making the attack. And in many countries, protesters burned American flags or effigies of President Reagan, threw stones at embassy windows and telephoned false threats to bomb U.S. Embassies and bases.
December 10, 1998 |
The international human-rights movement is the most important social movement since the Second World War, the one that, despite bumps in the road, characterizes this half of the century more than any other. After the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the promise of the human-rights movement was not immediately kept. Eastern Europe became a communist monolith suppressing civil and political rights. Authoritarian governments became dominant in most of South America and in large portions of Asia, Africa and the Mideast.
December 20, 1986 |
The first round of a European security conference ended yesterday with the Soviet Union and Western nations swapping charges of human rights abuses before adjourning for the Christmas holiday. The attacks coincided with the Soviet announcement that dissident Andrei D. Sakharov and his wife, Yelena Bonner, had been granted permission to leave Gorky, where they have been living in forced exile, and return to Moscow. Ironically, the announcement served mainly to heighten the human rights issue here, and to sharpen the language of the closing speeches.
January 19, 1989 |
East-bloc nations, responding to U.S. criticism of their human rights records during the final session of a forum that has already agreed on ensuring greater rights, yesterday defended the Berlin Wall and Czechoslovakia's crackdown on dissent - and told Washington to improve its own performance. Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jaromir Johanes said the United States had no right to criticize his country's handling of demonstrations in Prague this week. The protests have been broken up by police with nightsticks, backed up by water cannons.
November 9, 1988 |
As the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries experience serious economic problems, the leaders of those countries are turning for relief not to the principles of Karl Marx but of the capitalistic West. Western bankers seem all too willing to prop them up with low-interest loans and liberal lines of credit. Even in Yugoslavia, which had been one of communism's showpieces, dissident Milovan Djilas observed, "Communism isn't changing. It's disintegrating. " Inflation in Yugoslavia stands now at 217 percent.
September 22, 1988 |
"I remember yoooou," croons the Bush campaign commercial, and it shows dreary black-and-white shots of the worst of the 1970s - the gas lines, the Arabs and Iranians who pushed us around, the high interest rates and the Soviet expansionism that we tried to check with meaningless treaties. Terrible days they were, when America seemed flat on its back, at the mercy of all the evildoers in the world. We must not go back to those times, says George Bush as he campaigns across the country, denouncing the weak-kneed, naive leadership that failed this country economically, diplomatically, militarily and morally.
December 12, 2012
By Mark Robbins Growing up in New England, I associated Philadelphia with a small but potent mixture: My aunt, uncle, and two cousins; the Phillies of the late '70s; my dad's alma mater, Penn; and the movement for Soviet Jewry that culminated 25 years ago. Through their leadership in the movement to free Soviet Jews, my aunt and uncle, along with thousands of other Philadelphians, were writing another chapter in the story of the cradle of American...