WASHINGTON (Aug. 2)
Mrs. Judith Silver Shapiro, wife of convicted Soviet activist Gavriel Shapiro, said today she met yesterday with State Department officials to seek their support for her efforts to get a visa to return to the Soviet Union in the hope of marrying her husband in a civil ceremony recognized under Soviet law. Shapiro was sentenced by a Moscow court on July 26 to one year of “corrective labor” on charges of evading military service. He is not under imprisonment. A corrective labor sentence allows him to live at home but he must work at a job approved by Soviet officials for the period of the sentence.
The couple was married in Moscow June 8 in an Orthodox ceremony performed by an American rabbi in Shapiro’s Moscow home and married again in a proxy service conducted by a Judge here. The Soviet Union does not recognize religious marriages.
Mrs. Shapiro said she was accompanied by her Washington attorney, Nathan Lewin and that she met for 45 minutes with U. Alexis Johnson, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; and Richard Davies, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. She told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the two officials told her the State Department was trying to “set up” a meeting for her with Soviet officials at either the Soviet Consulate or the Soviet Embassy. She said she would apply for a visa tomorrow.