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Russian Tea Party’ in House of Commons

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Members of Parliament and theatrical personalities spoke to leading Jewish activists in Moscow on the phone yester day during a “Russian Tea Party” at the House of Commons. It was sponsored by the All-Party Parliamentary Committee for the Release of Soviet Jews.

Among those who conveyed their respect and sympathy for the plight of Soviet Jews were Lord Maybray-King, former speaker of the House of Commons; Dame Peggy Ashcroft, actress; the Bishops of Southwark and Chichester; Lord Janner of Leicester, Michael M. Fidler, MP, and the officers of the All-Party Committee.

The activists, assembled at two houses in Moscow, Included Tanla and Benjamin Levich. Viktor Feurmark, Vladimir Slepak, Kirlel Khenkine, Aleksander Lerner, and Viktor Polski. During his conversation with Dame Peggy, Slepak said the situation in Moscow continued to be very discouraging. The eight who were just released from jail after 15 days imprisonment were still suffering from physical abuse meted out by prison authorities, he said. Slepak also said he has had no word for two weeks of Valery and Galina Panov, the former Kirov ballet dancers seeking exit visas.

Tanya Levich, during the second call, said that her son, Evgeny, was still suffering in a labor camp in the Arctic Region. They had unconfirmed reports that he was to be transferred to a proper hospital in the region because of high blood pressure that prevented him from working. She said she hoped the gravity of his physical condition may finally have been acknowledged by the Soviet authorities and that this was not Just a ploy to get him into reasonable condition so that he could go back to work.

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