Ailing Shcharansky Transferred from Solitary Confinement in a Labor Camp to a Notorious Prison

Prisoner of Conscience Anatoly Shcharansky has been sentenced by a labor camp court to three years of strict regime in Chistipol Prison, one of the harshest such institutions in the Soviet Gulag, and has already been transferred there, his wife Avital told the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (SSSJ) and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews (UCSJ). Chistipol is some 550 miles east of Moscow.

The internal “trial” took place upon Shcharansky’s release from 10 months in solitary confinement in the Perm labor camp where his health had deteriorated to a point where he collapsed early last summer. The authorities concealed the trial from his aged mother in Moscow for a month until they notified her a few days ago, the SSSJ and UCSJ reported.

Yosef Mendelevich, the recently released POC who had been with Shcharansky in Chistipol before both were moved to Perm in 1980, told SSSJ and UCSJ that “for three years Anatoly will be completely isolated from the outside world, with no meetings with his family, and able to write only one letter every two months. His food ration will be diminished to 1,700 calories a day.”

Mendelevich said that Chistipol “houses what the Soviets call the ‘most dangerous’ inmates, those who demand to be acknowledged as political prisoners. Every prisoner is compelled to work the whole day and is punished if he refuses. Perm — only by comparison — was better than Chistipol. There, Anatoly could meet with his friends, whe he was not in solitary, and could write letters. Now he will be punished for every small infraction of the regulations, for the regime in Chistipol is especially severe.”

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