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Putin gives green light to new anti-terrorism laws: a blow to freedom

RUSSIA Putin gives green light to new anti-terrorism laws: a blow to freedom Nina Achmatova The recently approved measures referred to as ‘Big Brother’ because they bring Internet and telephone communications under the control of the secret services, which now demand tools to decode encrypted messaging programs. Severe restrictions on religious freedom. Human rights activists […]

How Elie Wiesel inspired the Free Soviet Jewry movement

By Glenn Richter         (JTA) — On my bookshelves there are two rows of volumes on the Soviet Jewry movement. Squeezed in among the tomes is a small, well-worn paperback with pages no longer attached to the spine, “The Jews of Silence” by Elie Wiesel. This slim volume is, however, a bridge. It crossed him and […]

Tunnel used by Jews in Lithuania to escape Nazis uncovered

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A tunnel in Lithuania used by Jewish prisoners to escape the Nazis has been uncovered by an international research team near Vilnius. The Israel Antiquities Authority in a statement Wednesday announced the discovery of the 100-foot-long tunnel at the Ponar Forest massacre site. Ponar prisoners used the tunnel, which was located with […]

Ukraine city names street for Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson

The city of Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine named a street after Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the last and most prominent Lubavitcher rebbe, who fled the city after Communist agents arrested his father there in the 1930s. Menachem Mendel Schneerson Street was unveiled in Dnepropetrovsk Sunday by its chief rabbi, Shmuel Kaminezki, who is one of the Chabad movement’s most senior […]

Lviv Ghetto memorial vandalized in anti-Semitic attack

A monument to the victims of the Holocaust-era ghetto of Lviv in western Ukraine was vandalized in what police suspect is an anti-Semitic incident. Unidentified vandals on Friday threw several gallons of green paint on the memorial, which was erected in 1992 in memory of tens of thousands of Jews who were kept in the ghetto after […]

Lithuania lifts major obstruction to citizenship applications by Jews

(JTA) — Lithuania’s parliament passed legislation that is expected to simplify the naturalization of Litvak Jews abroad and their descendants. Under amendments passed Thursday by the Seimas in Vilnius, Lithuanians who left before 1990 and their direct descendants may be naturalized without renouncing their other nationalities. The legislation passed with 96 its 141 lawmakers voting […]

Lithuanian mayor dismantles building made from Jewish headstones

The municipality of Vilnius in Lithuania began dismantling a Soviet-era structure made from Jewish headstones. Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius removed the first stone from the structure housing an electricity and heating generator on Olandų Street Wednesday, the mayor‘s office said in a statement. The generator was built by the Soviet authorities of Lithuania between 1965-1968, when it […]

Latvian lawmakers to participate in annual SS march through capital

Latvian lawmakers to participate in annual SS march through capital by Sam Sokol Around sixty seven out of seventy thousand Latvian Jews died in the holocaust, he said. Sympathizers rally at the Freedom Monument in Riga to commemorate the Latvian Legion of the Nazi Waffen-SS, March 2015. (photo credit:ILIYA PITALEV / RIA NOVOSTI / AFP) […]

Ukrainian Jewish leaders appeal to Netherlands voters to approve EU trade pact

Ukrainian Jewish leaders appeal to Netherlands voters to approve EU trade pact March 3, 2016 AMSTERDAM (JTA) – Ukrainian Jews appealed to the population of the Netherlands to vote in favor of a referendum over a trade agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. The appeal by 19 leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish population was published last week on […]

RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief “extremist” text prosecutions increase

RUSSIA: Freedom of religion or belief “extremist” text prosecutions increase By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18 News Service From September to December 2015 inclusive at least 35 individuals and three religious organisations exercising freedom of religion or belief were prosecuted in Russia under Administrative Code Article 20.29 (“Production or mass distribution of extremist materials”), Forum 18 […]