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Passover Amnesty Urged for Soviet Jewish Prisoners

The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry today called on Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin and Party Secretary Leonid Brezhnev to grant a “complete and total amnesty” during the upcoming “freedom festival of Passover” to all Jewish political prisoners in the Soviet Union’s labor camps. In a telegram addressed to the two Soviet leaders, the SSSJ noted that the official campaign of harassment and mistreatment of Jewish political prisoners in the Soviet Union is still continuing.”

Recent reports state that prisoners are physically suffering, and are being denied medical aid, the telegram continued. “Relatives of the prisoners, like Mrs. Eva Butman, are being subjected to degrading searches and physical assault, and are being falsely accused of criminal offenses. Conditions in the camps continue to be pitiful….Prisoners like Lev Yagman and Victor Boguslavsky have suffered heart attacks from the incredibly high work loads.” Declaring that Passover is the festival of freedom and redemption, the telegram concluded:

“In light of the upcoming freedom festival of Passover, we call upon you to grant a complete and total amnesty to all Jewish political prisoners in your labor camps, and give them permission to emigrate to Israel. Shalach et amil Let My People Go!”

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