NEW YORK (May. 4)
Soviet Jewish activists in Kishinev, in the southern Soviet republic of Moldavia, declared a hunger strike May 1 and 2 in protest of a new Soviet harassment technique which forces applicants to give up their apartments before they can fill out an application for a visa to Israel, it was reported today by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.
“If a visa is denied,” the letter addressed to United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim pointed out, “which is the usual procedure of the Soviet government, the applying family is left not only homeless, but without a shelter from the elements.”
The 15 signers, who set aside two days to stage a protest against the “continuing discrimination of Jews by the USSR government,” said in their letter, “We hope this protest will reach the people of the world and they will sympathize with our plight.” Among the signers were Mark and Fanya Abramovich, Yuri and Raissa Shekhtman and Grigory Levitt.
Meanwhile, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry reported that Jewish activists also staged hunger strikes in Riga, Leningrad. Tallin and Vilnius on Solidarity Day for exit visas to Israel. The 32 feasters issued a joint appeal “to Jews and all people of good will around the world to intensify the struggle for the lawful rights of Soviet Jews.”