WASHINGTON (Sep. 19)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov and 90 Jews in 13 Soviet cities have appealed to Presidential candidates President Ford and Jimmy Carter to continue America’s fight against repression and humiliation in the Soviet Union.
Both the appeal by Sakharov and from the Jews were addressed to the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Georgetown University. They were relayed to Washington from Moscow via Israel and then forwarded to both Ford and Carter, a Center official, Mrs. Judith Berson, said.
In the attempts in Moscow to telephone the appeals directly to Washington, “the lines were cut six times,” Mrs. Berson said. Then, a call was put through from Moscow to Israel by Dr. Alexander Luntz, a Jewish activist in Moscow. His reading was taped in Israel and the recording replayed by phone to Washington.
APPEALS TRANSMITTED TO FORD, CARTER
All the communications took place last Thursday, Mrs. Berson said. She pointed out that appeals have been transmitted to Ford and Carter, but that “obviously,” there has not been time for them to reply. The appeals were made public at a news conference in the Center’s offices here. Officials of the Center and of the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, which is conducting its annual meeting in Washington this weekend, took part.
Sakharov’s appeal listed freedom of conscience, exchange of information, movement and choice of one’s country of residence as among “certain guarantees for the political and civil rights of man.”
In their letter, the 90 Jews said “obviously there are matters of greater urgency to both candidates than the emigration of Jews from the USSR but, as stated at the meeting of chiefs of state in Helsinki, the observance of human rights may become the most important test case for the sincerity of relations between the great powers.”
The signers of this appeal included Vladimir Slepak and Alexander Lerner of Moscow. Vladimir Kislik and Boris Levitan of Kiev, and Yevgeny Lanchik of Odessa.
CARTER, FORD PLEDGES ON SOVIET JEWS
Letters to the Council from Ford and Carter pledging support for Jews and others in the Soviet Union but not directly responsive to the Sakharov and the Jewish group’s appeals were read to the newsmen by Mrs. Irene Manekofsky, vice-president of the Council and president of the Washington Committee for Soviet Jewry.
Ford, in a letter to Mrs. Manekofsky, stated: “The cause of Soviet Jewry and the efforts to assure the right of free emigration for all peoples must remain a national concern.” He gave his assurance that it is “a cause I will never forget.”
Carter’s letter, addressed to Stuart A. Wurtman, president of the Council, said the Jackson-Vanik amendment was the way of Congress to restate the “deeply held principle” of the “fundamental right of people to emigrate” and that the American people “demand” honoring of the Helsinki agreement and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights to which the Soviet is a signatory.