Leading Moscow Jewish Activists Questioned in Brailovsky Case

Soviet officials have questioned several leading Moscow Jewish activists in the case of Viktor Brailovsky, who was arrested and jailed last November, the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry reported today.

Among those interrogated last week were Eliyahu Essas, Yuli Kosharovsky, Vladimir Prestin, Pavel Abramovich, and Leonid Shabashov. They reportedly were asked if they knew Brailovsky, a computer scientist, and whether they had read the underground journal, "Jews in the USSR," which he had edited.

Brailovsky has been accused of "defaming the Soviet state," presumably for his activities as editor of the journal, the GNYCSJ said. "Though prisoners are usually officially charged with a crime within two months of their arrest, the newly-appointed prosecutor, J.A. Vorobjev, has obtained a two-month extension to continue the investigation, "Zessy Schnur, the GNYCSJ’s executive director, said. ‘Brailovsky’s detention is reminiscent of that of Anatoly Shcharansky who was held incommunicado for 16 months before his trial.

The GNYCSJ said Brailovsky has only recently been given the medicine and dietary supplements he needs after being deprived of them since his imprisonment. His wife, Irina, credits public and private intervention from the West for this.

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