NEW YORK (Oct. 28)
Thirty-seven Jews were arrested in Moscow during the past four days for demonstrating last week to demand to know why they have been denied exit visas. According to reports from several groups here active on behalf of Soviet Jewry. 16 of those arrested have been sentenced to 15-day jail terms for “hooliganism,” the fate of eight others is unknown and six Jewish woman protesters were fined 20 rubles each. According to the reports, others arrested were subsequently released without punishment.
The activists who received jail sentences are being held at the Spetzpriomnil-Severnly prison about 25 miles outside of Moscow, the reports said. They include Vladimir Slepak, leader of the emigration movement in the USSR.
Meanwhile, Boris Blitshtein, 20 and Slava Fishkin, 21, ended a three-day hunger strike outside of the Soviet airline, Aeroflot, office here today. They began their fast Monday when their fathers, Lev Blitshtein, 46, an engineer, and Boris Fishkin, 49, an economist, went on a hunger strike in Moscow to protest the denial of visas. They had applied for visas to re-join their families who emigrated from the USSR two years ago.
In a related development, telegrams protesting the mass arrests of Jewish activists and the beatings administered to many of them by Soviet police agents, were sent by Hadassah Tuesday to President Ford; Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger; Gov. Hugh Carey of New York; Daniel P. Moynihan and Sen. James Buckley, the Democratic and Republican candidates, respectively, for the U.S. Senate in New York; and Sen. Jacob K. Javits (RNY). They were urged to “speak out and use all possible means to counter Soviet terror and win immediate release of activists from prison and from USSR.”
Hadassah also demanded the “immediate release of imprisoned Jews” in telegrams to Anatoly F. Dobrynin, the Soviet Ambassador to the U.S., and to the Supreme Soviet in Moscow.