LONDON (Jul. 18)
Vladimir Slepak, a Jewish scientist in Moscow, reported by phone yesterday that 35 Jewish sit-ins from the Georgian Republic who were arrested last Thursday may have been forcibly returned to Georgia. Slepak spoke to Leah Slovin, an attorney, who left the USSR for Israel in 1969 and is presently in London trying to arouse support for Aleksander Gorbach, an engineer facing trial in Vinnitsa. Miss Slovin said Slepak told her that no one knew where the arrested Jews were. About 45 Jews were seized by Moscow police after a 24 hour sit-in and hunger strike at the central telegraph office to protest delays in processing their visa applications. All but ten were from Georgia. The rest from Moscow. Kiev and other cities had joined them in the protest. According to eye-witness accounts, they were all herded into police vans and driven off. According to Miss Slovin, Slepak said he knew his wire was being tapped but wanted the Soviet authorities to bear him.
Hundreds of Jews all over Britain are planning to urge their representatives in Parliament Tuesday to open debate on a motion by Labor MP Greville Janner condemning the Soviet Union for allegedly persecuting Jews who want to leave for Israel. The motion already has the signatures of 310 MPs of all parties. It castigates the Soviet Union for not permitting Russian Jews to practice their religion or maintain their culture. The parliamentary campaign was organized by the Association of Jewish ex-Servicemen after the motion was initiated by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
(In San Clemente, Calif., eight hours after learning of the arrest of the 45 Jews demonstrating at Moscow’s central post office, three California groups rallied more than 100 persons for a two-hour candlelight vigil outside the Western White House. The organizers were the California Students for Soviet Jews, the San Diego Council for Soviet Jews and the Southern California Council for Soviet Jews. Zev Yaroslavsky, chairman of the CSSJ, urged President Nixon to take “swift, vigorous and forthright
steps” to aid the prisoners and all of Soviet Jewry. In Glen Cove, N. Y., 10 Long Island women associated with various Jewish organizations staged a vigil from sundown Thursday through sundown Friday in front of the Soviet diplomatic compound to protest the Moscow arrests. Lynn Singer of the Long Island Committee for the Celebration of Israel’s Independence Day said the women were “concerned and interested from the tops of our heads to the tips of our toes.” and would seek to present petitions to the officials within.)