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Five Relatives of Soviet Jewish Prisoners Appeal to Thant, Tekoah to Aid Prisoners

Five relatives of Soviet Jewish prisoners–Avraham Zalmanson, Pinhas Khanokh, Hava Mendelevich, Sophia Druke Mendelevich and Carmela Badniya Berkovitz–have written to Secretary General Thant and Israeli Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, asking that “the wrong meted to our relatives, who have already been suffering for a year in prisons and in camps, should be corrected.” Those prisoners were arrested, they noted, on June 15, 1970, and tried and sentenced in Leningrad. The relatives noted to Thant and Tekoah: “The appeals to the UN Organization, sent by our relatives before their arrest, asking for intervention on their behalf to enable them to go to Israel, fell on dead ears. Therefore, it is we who appeal to the UN Organization and to the world public opinion: Act for the release of the Jews whose sole crime is their desire to go to Israel. It is inadmissable that people should be imprisoned for their wish to live in another country. Free the Jews who want to go to Israel from the prisons and detention camps and free them now.”