Human Rights Moscow Cracks the Gates

More Jewish emigrants get the green light -- for now

Vladimir Slepak gained the nickname "father of the refuseniks" as one of the earliest and most dogged defenders of Soviet Jews who had been refused permission to leave the country. Since 1970, except for five years of forced exile in Siberia, the television engineer served in Moscow as a key source -- sometimes the only source -- of information and advocacy on behalf of fellow Jews who wanted to emigrate. Last week, 17 years after Slepak and his wife Maria first applied for an exit visa, the two celebrated his 60th birthday in Jerusalem after a joyous arrival ceremony attended by...