NEW YORK (Jun. 8)
The American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry has called on Soviet leaders to release a Jewish engineer, Boris Kochubiyevsky, who was sentenced to three years in a Soviet prison camp for allegedly slandering the Soviet Union and its social system.
According to Lewis M. Weinstein, chairman of the Conference, the sentence was further proof of Soviet official anti-Semitism. “Boris Kochubiyevsky’s only crime is that he wants to be accorded the same religious and cultural rights that are allowed other Soviet nationalities,” Mr. Weinstein said. The young engineer had applied for permission to emigrate to Israel before his arrest. The permission was denied. One of the charges against him stemmed from remarks he allegedly made at memorial services for Jews slaughtered by the Nazis at Babi Yar ravine outside of Kiev. He referred to the victims as “part of the Jewish people.” Soviet policy prohibits reference to the martyrs’ Jewish origin.
In urging Mr. Kochubiyevsky’s release, Mr. Weinstein said, “We call upon the Soviet Government to fulfill its promise of equality of nationalities under the Soviet Constitution and, by subscribing to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which guarantees the right of departure to everyone, also to allow Kochubiyevsky to emigrate.”