NEW YORK (Jan. 23)
A Soviet court will take up soon the appeal for Amner Zavurov, a 26-year-old Uzbek Jew who has been sentenced to three years in prison, the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry has learned. Zavurov was sentenced Jan. 13 for parasitism, hooliganism and lacking internal identity papers.
According to GNY CSJ, Zavurov, his brother Amnon, their wives and children had obtained visas to emigrate to Israel in October, 1975, but a bureaucratic foul-up prevented them from leaving before the visas expired. Their exit visas were voided and the families were without internal documents which they needed for employment or medical treatment when Amnon Zavorov’s wife gave birth a few months ago.
Following word of the sentencing, thousands of telegrams have been sent by New Yorkers urging Zavurov’s release and that permission be granted to him and his family to emigrate. Robert Abrams, GNYSJ chairman, declared that “contrary to international law, the Zavurov family has been effectively refused permission to emigrate. That they were originally granted exit visas indicated that even the Soviet Union had recognized there were no legal impediments to their leaving the Soviet Union.”
In Washington, the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington is urging protests to the Soviet government and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin over Zavurov’s sentencing. In Los Angeles, Paul Ziffern, chairman of the Los Angeles Committee of Concerned Lawyers for Soviet Jews, was joined by City Attorney Burt Pines and Robert M. Shafton, chairman of the Commission on Soviet Jewry of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation-Council, at a press conference protesting the Zavurov case.
The case of Zavurov “is another tragic example of the Soviet Union’s disregard of the Human Relations Provision of the Helsinki Accord,” Shafton said. “This case is an example of Soviet anti-Semitism in one of its most vicious forms; this, despite the fact that anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union is against the law.”