Jewish Activists Sentenced to 15-day Jail Terms on ‘hooliganism’

Four of the 10 Moscow Jewish activists who were arrested on Feb. 24 for demonstrating for exit visas in Moscow were sentenced to 15-day jail terms on routine charges of "hooliganism," according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. Initially, it had been reported that seven Moscow Jews had been arrested in the demonstration outside the Lenin Library near the Kremlin. The demonstration was the first since the Soviet Union repudiated its 1972 trade agreement with the United States in January.

The NCSJ said three of those arrested were released but that two long time activists –Boris Tsitlionok and Mark Nashpitz– were being held for trial. The NCSJ said the decision was a source of worry since all the activists had been charged with the same offense. There was fear that the two men were being singled out for special punishment.

Those sentenced to jail terms were Yosef Beilin, Hirsch Toker, Natan Tolchinsky and Ilia Koltunov. Mikhail Liberman was given a 10-day sentence. Mark Sharansky, Leonid Taipin and Gvinter were released.

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