LONDON (Aug. 2)
Mark Nashpitz, 29-year-old Jewish activist and friend of Gavriel Shapiro, was sentenced in Moscow today to one year at “corrective labor” while living at home and deduction of 20 percent of his pay for “administrative costs” of his trial, which began and ended today, according to Jewish sources in Moscow.
(In New York, the report of Nashpitz’s sentence was confirmed by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Executive director Jerry Goodman said he talked by telephone today after the trial with Nashpitz, his mother and Shapiro, and that Shapiro called the mild sentence–the same one imposed on him last week on the same charge, draft-evasion–“a victory for Jews all over the world.” Shapiro added: “Every Jew and non-Jew must know what happened today because we have had the support of all people throughout the world.”)
Nashpitz, a dentist, will be assigned a job by the authorities. He went into hiding in May when the authorities, in connection with President Nixon’s visit, sought to arrest 14 Jewish activists on draft evasion allegations. Nashpitz, however, did not completely disappear; he served as best man at Shapiro’s June 8 wedding and neither was arrested. Shapiro was picked up June 12 and Nashpitz June 18. Unlike Shapiro, Nashpitz was not allowed to live at home while awaiting trial.
(The National Conference also reported that Moscow activist Roman Rutman and several friends had been threatened with arrest for allegedly having foreign connections and releasing political information.)
(In Washington yesterday, three Representatives–Alphonzo Bell (R. Calif.), Jonathan B. Bingham (D. N.Y.) and Earl F. Landgrebe (R. Ind.)–sought an urgent meeting on the Nashpitz case with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin. The Congressmen, on behalf of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, were told that they could not see the envoy without an appointment. An Embassy first secretary told the delegation that he himself knew nothing about the Nashpitz case.)