Yelena Bonner In Her Own Right – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011   Leave a comment

Yelena Bonner , wife of  Andrei Sakharov , both human rights activists … a human life lived on watch.

“She was also among the founders of the Moscow Helsinki Group, led by physicist Yury Orlov, which recently celebrated its 35th anniversary and has served as an inspiration for scores of similar groups in the former Soviet bloc and, of course, the U.S. Helsinki Watch (later named Human Rights Watch, or HRW), with offices all over the world. Characteristically, Bonner later joined the board of Advancing Human Rights, an organization critical of HRW that was founded by her longtime friend and publisher, Robert Bernstein.  Bonner also served as adviser to the International League for Human Rights and was among the founders of Common Action. Her manifestos — whether against Russian President Boris Yeltsin for the war in Chechnya or Vladimir Putin for “managed democracy,” or in support of Israel — shaped the post-Soviet political and moral landscape.”



The purpose of many dissident movements around the world seems to be to come to power. While some of the Soviet rights advocates became parliamentarians, many kept a justified wariness of the Russian government. Bonner served for a time on Yeltsin’s human rights commission but quit in protest over the Chechen war. She was always taking up causes, gathering signatures, and most of all, gaining glasnost — publicity — for them. She and Sakharov used that term ages before Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev ever did. Among her last statements this year was a message to an Article 31 demonstration about the right to demonstrate.”


via Yelena Bonner In Her Own Right – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2011.

Posted June 25, 2011 by arnoneumann in Russia

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