COPENHAGEN (Jan. 16)
Rep, James H. Scheuer, the first US Congressman ever expelled from the Soviet Union, said here today that Soviet charges against him were “ridiculous.” The Bronx Democrat met with newsmen enroute home to the US. Expulsion orders were served on him in Moscow last Thursday on grounds that he had “encouraged Soviet citizens to leave their fatherland,”
Scheuer was visiting the Soviet Union as a member of a Congressional group studying Russian educational institutions. But he also used the occasion to meet with Soviet Jews to learn of their condition at first hand. He said that the KGB, the Soviet seem police, had arrested various persons in the last few days and that he knew the names of four Jews arrested in Kiev. Scheuer himself was arrested by Moscow police last week while visiting Prof. Alexander Lerner, a computer expert who has tried four times unsuccessfully to obtain an exit visa to go to Israel.
Scheuer was released after a brief detention with apologies from the KGB. Referring to the Soviet claim that he was agitating among Soviet Jews to go to Israel, Scheuer said, “It is ridiculous to charge that I was responsible for Soviet Jews wanting to leave. Those Jews whom I visited and saw had asked for exit visas long before I saw them,” he said, adding, “Most of them had also been refused visas before I met them.”