Arrests Expected in Odessa

According to information received today by the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry (GNYCSJ) from sources within the Soviet Union, a severe wave of repression has been launched against Jewish activists in Odessa. The developments began several weeks ago, when the homes of refuseniks Yakov Mesh and Valery Pevsner were searched and Jewish cultural materials confiscated.

Last week, Mesh was summoned to the local offices of the KGB, where he was told that he will be arrested and imprisoned within coming weeks. Mesh was told that the confiscated materials comprised “Zionist” propaganda. Presumedly, it is in connection to these materials that Mesh will be tried. Pevsner was told that he, too, faces trial. The GNYCSJ also learned that Hebrew teachers and activists in Odessa and Moscow have undergone considerable harassment lately. It is feared that intensive repression against these activities may be undertaken in the very near future.

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