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Palatnik Trial Due Soon; Aleksandrovich Warned to Discontinue Calls to Wife

Immigrants arriving from the Soviet Union today reported that the trial of Roiza Palatnik, a 35-year-old librarian imprisoned in Odessa since last Dec. 1, would start during the second half of this month. Miss Palatnik was arrested after applying for an emigration visa and has been held incommunicado. The immigrants arriving today said that not even her closest relatives have been permitted to visit her. New arrivals from Riga reported that Soviet authorities were trying to intimidate Rubin Aleksandrovich whose daughter Ruth was one of the four Jews convicted of anti-Soviet activities at last month’s Riga trial. They said Aleksandrovich was repeatedly summoned by the authorities who threatened to revoke his exit visa unless he urged his wife, Rivka, to “stop making outcries” abroad over Ruth’s case. Mrs. Aleksandrovich has been in the United States and Canada for the past month trying to arouse public opinion on behalf of her daughter. The Aleksandrovich family, except for Ruth, was given exit visas in March. Mrs. Aleksandrovich and her 18-year-old son, Avigdor, went to Israel. Her husband elected to remain in Riga pending the outcome of the trial.

The Soviet authorities have warned Aleksandrovich not to continue telephone conversations with his wife who has called him frequently from the U.S. to inquire about Ruth’s condition. The 23-year-old nurse is reportedly in ill health. She was sentenced to one year imprisonment for alleged anti-Soviet activities but the nine months’ detention since her arrest has been deducted from her sentence. According to Jewish sources she has been removed from the Riga jail to a “strict punishment” prison elsewhere. Today’s arrivals from Riga reported a growing frequency of clashes between Jews in Riga and the general population. They said Jews riding on busses and trams are asked, “Why are you still here? Why don’t you go to Israel?” The arrivals said such verbal clashes and insults are a daily occurrence. A group of families from Wilna was among today’s arrivals. The Wilna Jews reported that the price of an exit visa was recently increased from $990 to $1,100.

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