Mr. Speaker, I rise today in tribute to a woman of outstanding dignity and courage. Yelena Bonner was one of the leading advocates for human rights in cold war era U.S.S.R..
Risking her own well-being to further the human rights cause, she fought fiercely for the fundamental freedoms and rights that so many people around the world still demand.
Ms. Bonner was married to Nobel Peace Price winner Andrei Zakharov. When he was sent into exile for his activism, it was Ms. Bonner who made sure his writings were published.
Arrested and exiled herself in the mid-1980s, she later made it to the United States where she passed away this past weekend after a long illness. She was 88 years old.
Ms. Bonner was an outspoken critic of the Stalinist system and the regimes of Communist Russia. She worked tirelessly for reform and, until the end, advocated changes in Russia that would put people first.
I would like to convey on behalf of all hon. members and all Canadian our condolences to Ms. Bonner's children and our sincere expression of continuing respect for her work.