WASHINGTON (May. 18)
Raiza Palatnik, having concluded a seven-day hunger strike in a Russian prison last Friday, is being overworked despite being very ill and unable to see, it was reported this morning by her sister, Katya, who yesterday morning began a hunger strike near the Soviet Embassy. Katya Palatnik, who spoke with her parents in Odessa by telephone, said they told her that her sister refused to work last Saturday–Lenin Day–and was given seven days’ solitary confinement, during which she has been allowed only water and only a chair to sleep in.
The camp commander, it was said, took away her eyeglasses although she cannot see without them and can barely see with them. She is made to work from 5 a.m. through 2 a.m. each day. The sisters’ mother, aged 61, and father, 71, also went on a hunger strike, to protest the prison treatment, advising Russian officials in advance that they would. They have not heard from the librarian-prisoner since last Saturday.
Katya Palatnik and Dr. Michael Eppelman, who are staging a Joint hunger strike here, sent a telegram to Nixon yesterday asking him to help release Raiza Palatnik and help effect visas for Dr. Eppelman’s wife and daughter.