Hel, Ivan [Гель, Іван; Hel'], b 17 July 1937 in Klitsko near Horodok (Lviv region), Galicia, d 16 March 2011 in Lviv. Political dissident. Hel was expelled from secondary school in 1952 for refusing to join the Komsomol. In 1954 he graduated from a trade school in Sambir and went to work in Lviv. In 1965 he was arrested for distributing Ukrainian samvydav. He received a sentence of three years in a labor camp, which he served in Mordovia. During this time he wrote a number of protests to Soviet officials. Released in 1968, Hel worked as a metalworker and teacher until his dismissal because of political activism. He was rearrested in 1972 and sentenced to 10 years in labor camps and 5 years in exile. He was released in 1987 and returned to Lviv. In August 1987, together with Viacheslav Chornovil, he revived the publication of Ukraïns’kyi visnyk and served as its executive secretary. He was active in the movement to restore the Ukrainian Catholic church in Ukraine and he edited the journal Khrystyians’kyi holos. In 1990 he was elected a member of the Lviv Oblast Council and served on the council until 1994.
[This article was updated in 2015.]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine