June 21, 2011

Chairman Kerry On The Passing Of Yelena Georgievna Bonner

Washington, DC – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) issued the following statement on the passing of Yelena Georgievna Bonner, a globally recognized advocate for human rights and wife of Nobel Laureate Andrei Sakharov:

“I want to mark the passing of an extraordinary Massachusetts resident, Yelena Georgievna Bonner.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Ms. Bonner and her husband, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Andrei Sakharov, stood against the repressive practices of the Soviet state, confronting attempts by the KGB to silence them with unparalleled courage.  Yelena Bonner believed passionately that all human beings were entitled to certain fundamental rights and freedoms and she risked everything for her beliefs.  She never retired from the fight nor waivered in her commitment to human rights, and with great dignity she remained a tenacious and outspoken advocate for democracy in the Russian Federation.  My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones as we mourn the passing of this great lady.”

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