Foreign Minister meets former Jewish Soviet prisoner of conscience

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre received Josef Begun at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs April 23.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre received Josef Begun at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs April 23.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre received Josef Begun at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs April 23.

Mr Begun spent most of the decade before the collapse of the Soviet Union in a labour camp in Siberia for promoting Jewish culture and the Hebrew language. During the same period, Mr Støre was engaged in human rights work in the Soviet Union, which also involved the situation of Soviet Jews.

As a token of gratitude for Mr Støre’s engagement for the Soviet Jews, Mr Begun presented him with an armband bearing the words “Prisoners of Zion”. These armbands were a symbol of the fight for the rights of Soviet Jews during the Cold War.

Mr Begun encouraged Mr Støre and Norway to maintain their commitment to peace and human rights.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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