NEW YORK (Sep. 19)
The National Conference on Soviet Jewry learned today that three leading Moscow Jewish activists, Vladimir Slepak, Viktor Polsky and Roman Rutman, were taken on Yom Kippur to Letfortovo Prison for interrogation. Letfortovo Prison is the same prison in which Ilya Glezer was held for six months prior to his trial on August 22. Jewish sources in Moscow fear that the detention of the three men could signal the beginning of an attempt on the part of Soviet authorities to link these activists in a “conspiracy” trial.
This afternoon, 30 people went to the Supreme Soviet to protest the pending decree on exit visas, the NCSJ reported. The Supreme Soviet is meeting today and tomorrow to decide whether to ratify the prohibitive visa fees. The group was dispersed. Three members refused to leave. Sixteen of the 30 who did leave were picked up later by Soviet authorities on the streets and in their homes, the NCSJ said. These were reported to be key Jewish activists.
In an earlier incident, Soviet authorities suddenly closed Arkhipova Street, where Moscow’s Choral Synagogue is located, at 8:00 a.m. on Yom Kippur. Hundreds of Moscow Jews, who normally attend synagogue on Yom Kippur just for Yizkor service were unable to do so. The closing of the street on Yom Kippur came a week after groups of Jews were dispersed by militia when they attempted to approach the synagogue on Rosh Hashana.