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Jewish Activists Start Hunger Strike

The National Conference on Soviet Jewry reported that Soviet Jewish activists began today a two-day hunger strike, centered in Leningrad, to mark the fourth anniversary of the first Leningrad trial. The NCSJ said 36 Leningrad activists are to be joined in the strike by Jews in Moscow, Tbilisi and other cities The trial, which opened in June, 1970, in Leningrad sparked a series of other trials which resulted eventually in the sentencing and imprisonment of nearly 40 Jews who had announced their desire to emigrate to Israel.

Among those participating in the hunger strike in Leningrad are Arkady and Elena Rabinov, Boris Rubinshtein, Mikhail Strugach, who was recently released after serving a 15-day detention sentence, Iosif Begun, Grigory Goman, Iosif Blik, Polina Epelman and the family of Alexsei Murzhenko, a non-Jew who was persecuted along with the activists, the NCSJ said. The NCSJ also reported that Jewish activists in Minsk are planning a hunger strike timed to coincide with President Nixon’s visit to Moscow June 27.

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