June 19, 2011 / 17 Sivan 5771
New York -- Statement by Natan Sharansky, Soviet dissident, Prisoner of Zion and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, on the passing of Yelena Bonner:
"The Jewish world and the State of Israel have lost one of their most passionate champions. At the same time, the global community of democratic dissidents, political prisoners and human rights activists has lost one of its greatest leaders and advocates. Whereas Andrei Sakharov was the heart of our struggle to defeat the great evil of the Soviet system, Yelena Bonner was the engine that encouraged us to act.
"On a personal level, my family and I lost a great friend today who stood with us in those most difficult days, and who never let us down. I shall cherish her memory always."