Soviet Activist Arrested

In what the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and Union of Councils termed “another turn of the screw in the current anti-Jewish campaign,” a Moscow Jew has been arrested as a “parasite” two weeks after being dismissed from work.

According to the groups, 25-year-old engineer Valery Sorin was jailed Nov. I for “parasitism,” that is, not having a job. On Sept. 15 he had suddenly been fired from his position as a secretary to a writer, told he “was no longer needed.” He was originally refused a visa in 1972, then fired from his job, drafted for two years, then again refused exit in July 1976.

Sorin spent the first three days of his arrest in a police station, then was transferred to a prison. Soviet officials have recently told Jews the “parasitism” regulations have been changed to give an unemployed person fewer warnings and less time in which to find a job before facing penalties.

Meanwhile, Natalia Khmelnitskaya has joined the small but growing band of Soviet Jews whose exit visas have been withdrawn just prior to leaving, making them stateless. She had received her documents on Sept. 15 for an Oct. 10 departure. However, the two Soviet Jewry groups reported that ovir, the emigration office, told her the last minute that her visa had been withdrawn due to the objections of her brother.

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