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July 18, 1978 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-07-18

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, July 18, 1978-Page 9

WASHINGTON (AP) - The wife of
Soviet Jewish dissident Anatoly Sh-
charansky called on Congress yester-
day to take concrete actions against the
Soviet Union on behalf of her husband,
who was sentenced last week to 13
yearsat hardslabor for treason.
"Probably the Soviet Union does not
understand words," Avital Shcharan-
sky said in an appearance on Capitol
Hill. "It is our turn to act; the rest of the
world is watching us.
"I appeal to members of the U.S.
Congress. It depends on you now
whether people back in the Soviet Union
... will get help or whether the same
catastrophe that happened 40 years ago
will be repeated," she said.
SHE APPARENTLY referred to
mass trials that occurred in the Soviet
Union during the Stalin era.
Rep. Robert Drinan (D-Mass.),
chairman of an ad hoc committee
seeking Shcharansky's release, said the
most effective action the United States
could take would be to refuse to send an
American team to the 1980 Olympic
games in Moscow.
Ms. Scharansky, speaking through an
interpreter, received a standing
ovation from some 50 congressmen who
attended the session at Drinan's office.
Although her appearance had been
billed as a news conference, no
questions were permitted. Instead,
Drinan announced that all the
congressmen would have their
photographs taken with Ms. Shcharan-
THOUGH NO questions were
allowed, Ms. Shcharansky told a repor-
ter that she knows nothing specific
about speculation that her husband
might be exchanged for two Soviet
citizens accused of spying in this coun-
try for Russia.
"You must understand, he is not a
spy," she said of her husband. "But if it
happens, I'm happy. Now I think it is
very important for him to be free."
Rabbi Ronald Greenwald of New
York, who helped arrange an earlier
three-way prisoner exchange between
Mozambique, East Germany and the
United States, said Sunday that he has
been involved in negotiations to swap
Shcharansky for the two Russians.
declined comment on the statement,
however, and White House press
secretary Jody Powell said he knew
nothing about any such negotiations.
Ms... Shcharansky was asked what
specific actions Congress might take to
put pressure of the Soviet Union, but
she declined to give recommendations.
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insky's wife appeals to Congress
"I am not a politician," she said. "But I between the United States and the ted the offense to take place. And this
think it is impossible to have the Olym- Soviet Union will be "dangerously im- we do not intend to do."
pic games in Moscow," she added. paired" if Shcharansky and other Speaking into a thicket of
She said participating in the Olym- dissidents are not released microphones, Ms. Shcharansky told the
pics in Moscow would have "bad AND REP. JOHN Anderson (R-Ill.), congressmen: "I hope I appeal to the
associations just like the games in chairman of the House Republican Con- right people because in your hands is
Germany in 1936." ference, said that for the United States the fate of the Jewish people in the
Rep. John Brademas (D-Ind.) the to stand idly by would place it in the Soviet Union and the fate of my
House Democratic whip, said relations role "of an accomplice who has permit- husband."

AT THE WHITE House yesterday, the wife of convicted Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky per- AP Ph
sonally thanked Vice President Walter Mondale for the U.S. government's efforts in behalf of her
husband and other imprisoned Jewish political activists.
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