NEW YORK (Jun. 27)
Jewish librarian Roiza Palatnik was sentenced Thursday to two years in a regular detention camp, Jewish sources here reported. They said the female prosecutor, surnamed Tipunova, summed up for an hour and a half, calling Miss Palatnik a “traitor,” influenced by “Zionist propaganda,” who had engaged in “very dangerous” activities, having distributed “anti-Soviet materials” as a member of an “ideological front” that had made use of the nature of her job to further its designs. In her 40-minute defense, Miss Palatnik, who was 36 last Wednesday, denied the charges and said the trials of Soviet Jews were meant to intimidate Jews into relinquishing their attempts to migrate to Israel. She had not been influenced by “Zionist propaganda,” she said, but by her own conscience, and would remain “strong and dignified” so as not to let down her fellow Jews. “I allowed myself the pleasure to think, which is still forbidden in the Soviet Union nowadays,” she stated. The three judges deliberated five hours before rendering their decision. Relatives of Miss Palatnik called out: “We are with you, Roiza. All the Jewish people are with you. We will meet in Israel.” Officers of the KGB (secret police) evicted the relatives from the courtroom for their outburst, the sources said.