Letter from Shcharansky Ends Worry

Four months of mounting worry by Anatoly Shcharansky’s mother Ida Milgrom in Moscow that her son might have died in the Perm labor camp ended last weekend when she received a letter from him dated Aug. 30 from the camp hospital. In the letter, whose contents were phoned to Anatoly’s wife Avital in Jerusalem and relayed to the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews, the 33-year-old Prisoner of Conscience said he had been extremely ill for two months but only placed in the camp hospital in mid-August.

Shcharansky said he was so weak he could barely move, and that he had widely fluctuating blood pressure. He was receiving strong injections four times a day. He expected that he would be returned to solitary confinement after the first week of September, although his incarceration there should have ended.

Shcharansky was sentenced to 13 years in prison and labor camp in 1978, and was placed in solitary confinement cells last December after he refused to submit to a provocation that would have had him clear snow from a free-fire zone around the guards’ stockades. The SSSJ and UCSJ said Avital Shcharansky urged the continuation of the growing campaign in Congress for her husband’s immediate release.

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