Jeri Laber is a founder of Human Rights Watch, where she served as Executive Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division during the Cold War until 1995. She completed dozens of missions, in which she went undercover in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, dodging the secret police and bringing hope to dissidents. After the fall of Communism, she received the Order of Merit from Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel. She has published her memoir The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement and A Nation is Dying: Afghanistan Under the Soviets, 1979-87, as well as more than one hundred articles on human rights issues in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and others.
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