Gavriel Shapiro Says Head Tax Waiver is Only Token Gesture

Gavriel Shapiro told his wife Judy Silver Shapiro in a telephone conversation from Moscow today that Jewish academicians in the Soviet Union regard the Soviet waiver of the visa tax in the case of 19 families as no more than a “token gesture” brought about by the pressure generated in the United States during the Presidential election campaign. When the elections are over, they fear the visa fees will be applied more harshly than ever, the Jewish activist said.

The information was relayed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in New York by Mrs. Shapiro who spoke to her husband from the Hillel Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She said Gavriel, who is serving a one-year sentence at “corrective labor,” has been in close contact with other Jewish scientists and professionals including some of the 19 families now permitted to leave.

Mrs. Shapiro said her husband also told her he started a new job Monday at an automotive manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Moscow. His job is to load and unload heavy parts. He works eight hours a day and spends three hours traveling to and from work, she said. Sentence to corrective labor permits the defendant to live at home but he must take a job assigned by the authorities and remit 20 percent of his wages to the State. Shapiro was dismissed from a similar job last week with no explanation.

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