Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on Soviet Dissidents Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner


December 19, 1986


We are pleased to hear of Mr. Sakharov's release from internal exile and the pardon of his wife, Yelena Bonner, on charges of slandering the Soviet state. We welcome this as a personal victory of courage for the principles of human rights that the two have come to exemplify in the Soviet Union.


While we are pleased with these developments, we note that the system of abuses of human rights continues. There are countless others who remain incarcerated for no reason other than their desire to express their viewpoint. It is these infringements of human rights that we call upon the Soviet Union to correct.


Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 9:25 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.