WASHINGTON (Mar. 3)
The Senate voted 91-0 yesterday to approve a resolution strongly condemning the Soviet Union for violations of human rights. The measure, introduced by Sen. Frank Church ( D.Idaho ) and co-sponsored by 38 other Senators, criticized the harassment of Jews and other seeking to emigrate from the USSR which, it said, “profoundly offends the conscience of a free people,”
The resolution accused the Soviet Union of sanctioning religious and ethnic discrimination in violation of the human rights provisions of the Helsinki Agreements and stressed “The sustained interest of the American people…regarding adherence to the Helsinki declaration, including their pledge to facilitate free movement of people, expedite the reunification of families and uphold the general freedom to leave one’s country.”
Meanwhile, a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Moscow said last night that an official protest would be lodged with the Soviet authorities over the seizure by police of Jewish dissidents who attempted to enter the Embassy for appointments with American officials.
On Monday. Prot. Benjamin Fein, organizer of the aborted symposium on Soviet Jewish culture, and a companion. Iosif Begun, were arrested outside the Embassy despite the fact that they were escorted by the American Third Secretary. Larry Napper. Fein and another activist, Vladimir Prestin, returned to the Embassy yesterday and were arrested a second time and driven to a police station.