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Anxiety over Fate of Valery Kukui

There is great anxiety over the fate of Valery Kukui, the Sverdlovsk Jewish activist who is serving a three-year sentence in the forced labor camp of Novaya Lialia. Last July he was sentenced to four months solitary confinement, but no reason for this was given. According to the camp administration Kukui was released from solitary confinement in Nov. but neither his wife, Ella, who is in Israel, nor his relatives and friends in the Soviet Union have had any communication from him in the last eight months.

His relatives have not been given permission to see him, although a visit was due according to camp regulations. The camp administration stated that Kukui did not want to see his relatives or write to his wife. Close friends stated that this is a palpable lie. “Kukui is not made of such stuff.”

Meanwhile, 32 Jews in Moscow, 25 in Leningrad, 12 in Vilna and 7 in Kiev have staged a hunger strike to protest against the administrative sentences imposed on Jews who had staged a sit-in Dec. 18. at the Supreme Soviet to appeal for amnesty for Jewish political prisoners. It has also been learned that eight women, fined 20 rubles each when they returned to the Moscow police station to retrieve their identity cards which were taken from them after the sit-in, did not go voluntarily but were told them they must come to collect their cards. They were fined on arrival.

In another development, the chairman of the Council of Jewish Women’s Association, Mrs. June Jacobs, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Mrs. Regina Braun who was sentenced to 15 days imprisonment after returning home to Riga from the sit-in, is six months pregnant. She is being held incommunicado.

President Zalman Shazar, Eliahu Eilat, Israel’s first Ambassador to the United States, and Yitzhak Rabin, retiring Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., will represent Israel at the memorial service for the late President Harry S. Truman in Washington Friday.

Israeli security services took special precautions today against a possible wave of terrorist acts and sabotage in populated areas, particularly in northern Israel. Security sources said the Army was cooperating with border police and local police forces in implementing security measures in light of information indicating renewed terrorist activities in the north. It is believed that terrorists may attempt to infiltrate across the Lebanese border.

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