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December 12, 1986 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Report Finds USSR
`Flawed' On Human Rights


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Washington (JTA) — The
compliance by the Soviet
Union and the Soviet Bloc
countries with the human
rights provisions of the
Helsinki Accords remains
"seriously flawed," States
Department spokesman
Charles Redman said last
Redman gave this assess-
ment as the State Depart-
ment released the 21st Semi-
annual Report on the Im-
plementation of the Helsinki
Final Act. The report, which
covers the period April 1 to
October 1, was submitted to
Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R.NY),
chairman of the Commission
on Security and Cooperation
in Europe, which monitors
compliance with the accord.
"The overall record of com-
pliance of the Warsaw Pact
nations with their CSCE
(Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe) com-
mitments remained seriously
flawed," the report stated.
"Although some positive
steps were taken by these
governments, the status of
implementation over the cur-
rent reporting period did not
change significantly from
earlier periods."
The report listed as positive
steps the emigration of
Anatoly Shcharansky's
mother and brother to Israel
and a decision to allow the
emigration to the United
States of 65 divided families
"By the end of the reporting
period, however, roughly half
of these had not yet received
their exit documentation," it
was noted."
Specifically dealing with
the issue of Soviet Jews, the
report declares that they
"have suffered particularly
severe treatment over the last
several years with .arrests,
trials and convictions of
many Jews, especially those
who actively pursue their own
religious and cultural
"Moscow Hebrew teacher
Aleksei Magarik, who was ar-
rested in March at Tbilisi Air-
port allegedly in possession of
hashish, was sentenced on
June 9 to three years in a
labor camp.
"Moscow Hebrew teacher
and labor camp inmate Yuli
Edelshtein, who suffered a
broken leg and torn urethra in
a February fall and who had
long been refused treatment
in a regular hospital, was
finally operated on in July
and is slowly recovering.
"Moscow Hebrew teacher
Iosif Begun has been denied
visits by his wife and son for
more than one year,and the
authorities refuse to forward
his letters to his family.
"Leningrad Hebrew teacher
Vladimir Lifshits, who was
sentenced to three years in a
labor camp for 'anti-Soviet

slander', has suffered a
serious deterioration in his
health due to harsh prison
During the six months cov-
ered by the report no other
Hebrew teachers were ar-
rested. But the report notes
that information is " begin-
ning to surface of a crack-
down on several Jewish ac-
tivists in the Ukrainian city
of Cherkassy. A ritual bath
(mikva) in Moscow's Marina
Roscha Synagogue was re-
portedly destroyed by the
Soviet authorities on
September 9."
The report said that Jewish
refuseniks continue to ha-

Jewish human
rights violators
were also
reported in

rassed. Leningrad refuseniks
Boris and Margarita Yelkin
and Yevgeni Leyn were de-
tained by the militia for
several hours after a reception
at the (U.S.) consulate in
July," the report said.
"Six other Leningrad Jews
were detained in April while
on their way to a private ex-
hibition of Jewish art.
Periodic interruption of
telephone service, occasional
house arrest and frequent
detention by the militia for
several hours, ostensibly for
document checks, continue to
be common forms of harass-
The other Soviet bloc coun-
try in which Jews were the
victims of human rights
violations was Rumania, ac-
cording to the report.
During the period covered
by the report, "an historic and
unique synagogue and a ma-
jor Jewish community facili-
ty — an old age home hous-
ing some 80 persons — were
abruptly demolished to make
way for urban renewal,
despite earlier government
assurances to the contrary,"
the report said. "These ac-
tions led to considerable
Western concern regarding
the fate of other important
Jewish facilities in Rumania.
The report added that "the
Jewish community was also
disturbed by an article seek-
ing to show that the 1941
pogrom in Yassi, in which
many thousands died, was an
event of only minor signifi-
cance and one for which
Rumanian authorities bore no
responsibility. The Jewish
community has protested
vigorously, fearing this inci-
dent might foreshadow the
reemergence of anti-Semitism
in Rumanian publications.



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