NEW YORK (Mar. 19)
Aviral Shcharansky, wife of imprisoned Soviet Jewish activist Anatoly Shcharensky, failes in on of tempt yesterday to get Soviet officials to accept a wedding ring for her husband. Mrs. Shcharansky, who was forced to leave the Soviet Union the day after her marriage, made her attempt following a rally at the Park East Synagogue in Manhattan marking the second anniversary of Shcharansky’s arrest by the KGB in Moscow, March 15, 1977. Shcharansky’s original ring was confiscated as “state property” recently when he was transferred from Vladimir to Chistopol prison.
Following the rally, Mrs. Shcharansky left the synagogue and walked across the street to deliver the ring to the Soviet Mission to the United Nations. Meanwhile, a group of angry demonstrators filed out of the synagogue to stand of a nearby corner chanting slogans as people inside the Mission peered out of windows. But Soviet officials refused to come to the door.
Mrs. Shcharansky’s gesture had been authorized by an order from a State Supreme Court judge last Friday obtained by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, sponsors of yesterday’s rally. She was accompanied to the Mission by Lyan Singer, president of the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry, and Rabbi Avraham Weiss of the Hebrew institute of Riverdale. But police barred Reps. William Green (R.NY) and Theodore Weiss (D.NY) from accompanying them.
Glenn Richter, the SSSJ’s national coordinator, said the barring of the two Congressmen was a clear violation of the understanding between Steven Shapro, the New York Civil Liberties Union attorney that represented the SSSJ at the hearing, and Rosemary Carroll, legal counsel for the Police Department that the “Congressmen would go with the delegation.”
A PLEA FOR PRISONERS-OF ZION
Standing in front of the closed door of the Mission, Mrs. Shcharansky declared: “In the past two years we have had more Prisoners of Zion than ever before. Why should those who have committed no sin be sitting in prison in Siberia? I pray that God will strengthen out hands and that we will see them.”
Mrs. Shcharansky earlier told the crowd of some 500 persons at the rally that based upon information in a letter from Shcharansky, received by his mother two weeks ago, his physical condition was satisfactory. But she said her husband’s parents were denied their semi-annual visit with Shcharansky which was set for last month. She said her husband has not received any of her letters during the last two years nor the hundreds of letters sent from well-wishers around the world.
Mrs. Shcharansky urged American to “continue and strengthen your efforts to free Anatoly.” She declared that “I can’t believe that he will remain there for 13 year. We must continue to work together and then you are all invited to our home in Jerusalem.”