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Report 40 Iraqi Jews in Custody for Trying to Leave Country; Three Face Execution

The World Jewish Congress and the Board of Deputies of British Jews appealed for action today to avert death sentences reportedly about to be carried out against Iraqi Jews. The appeals stemmed from reliable reports reaching here from Iraq in the past few days that about 40 Jews–men, women and children–were being held in custody without trial for allegedly trying to leave the country illegally. The reports said that three were sentenced to death and would be executed shortly communities throughout the world to petition their governments to intervene with the Iraqi authorities on behalf of the imprisoned Jews. The Board of Deputies recalled the hangings of Jews in Iraq in 1969 and said that many Jews who want to express their anxiety over the latest development will gather in front of the Iraqi Embassy on the eve of the Passover holiday tomorrow. “The Board is supporting this action.” a statement said.