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B’nai B’rith Women Set Letter Campaign to Urge Hanoi to Lift ‘curtain’ on Prisoners

The B’nai B’rith Women announced today that they were starting a nationwide letter-writing campaign among their 135,000 members to urge the North Vietnamese Government in Hanoi to lift its “dark curtain” over 1,300 American prisoners of war who are being held incommunicado in violation of the Geneva Convention. Mrs. Michael Shapiro, international president of the B’nai B’rith Women, said the letters would be addressed to Hanoi, the United Nations, U.S. Congressmen, governments and newspapers throughout the world.

“Shockingly, the savage regime in North Vietnam has drawn a dark curtain of secrecy over the cruel treatment of American prisoners of war, except for the cynical release of a few, purely for propaganda purposes,” Mrs. Shapiro said. “Hanoi has placed more than 1,000 American women in a cruel, heart-breaking dilemma. They have no way of knowing whether they are wives or widows,” she added. Mrs. Shapiro said the B’nai B’rith Women will urge Hanoi to permit the International Red Cross to visit the prisoners and to arrange for a flow of letters and packages to them in accordance with the Geneva rules.