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Podgorny Asked to Let Red Cross Inspect Soviet Labor Camps

Maj. Gen. Albert Guerisse, a wartime resistance leader who is president of the International Committee for the Defense of the Rights of Man in the Soviet Union, has asked Soviet President Nikolai V. Podgorny to permit representatives of the World Health Organization, the International Red Cross or the United Nations to enter Soviet labor camps and prisons “to ascertain if the prisoners’ conditions have been bettered.”

Guerisse, whose appeal is backed by more than 500 European personalities, also wrote to UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, who arrived in Moscow yesterday. He asked Waldheim to remind Soviet leaders that world opinion expects them to act in accordance with their support of UN human-rights declarations. He cited the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted by the UN on Dec. 21, 1965, which endorsed “the right to circulate freely,..leave any country including one’s own,..freedom of thought, conscience and religion,..freedom of opinion and expression,..and…peaceful assembly.”

In a related development, more than 30 science professors at the Free University of Brussels asked Foreign Minister Pierre Harmel to Intercede with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko on behalf of Prof. Benjamin Levitch, a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. The petitioners said Prof. Levitch had been denied migration to Israel and permission to attend the 15th annual conference here last month of the International Institute of Physics and Chemistry. The appeal supported Prof. Levitch’s right to choose where he wanted to perform his scientific work.

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