NEW YORK (Dec. 2)
The trial of refusenik activist Feliks Kochubievsky began yesterday in a court in Novosibirsk, it was reported here by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry. The 52-year-old electrical engineer, who was arrested September 12, has been charged with “circulation of fabrications known to be false which defame the Soviet state and social system. “He faces a penalty of up to three years imprisonment.
Kochubievsky of Novosibirsk, has been the target of KGB harassment since he and his wife Valentina applied for visas to Israel in 1978. He was denied permission to join his two sons there on grounds of “regime considerations.” His subsequent efforts to re-establish a”USSR-Israel Friendship Society” exacerbated his already strained situation. He was denounced by the Soviet authorities as a “counter-revolutionary, “although at one time he had been awarded the Soviet Order of Merit for Patriotic Work and had earned his Kandidat of Technical Sciences degree.
SHCHARANSKY’S MOTHER HOSPITALIZED
In another development, the National Conference reported that Ida Milgrom, the mother of Prisoner of Conscience Anatoly Shcharansky, has been hospitalized in Moscow as a result of extreme emotional stress. According to the Conference, the emotional stress is due to concern about her son who began a hunger strike September 27 in Chistopol prison. Shcharansky is protesting the denial by prison authorities of his correspondence and visitation rights. No information has been made available by prison authorities since Shcharansky began his fast, 65 days ago.
Mrs. Milgrom and her other son, Leonid, were scheduled to depart for Chistopol on November 19. The sudden collapse caused the 75-year-old woman to postpone the near 500-mile journey. She had hoped to meet with prison officials to obtain information on her son’s condition and planned to remain there until the authorities would release details. Mrs. Milgrom fears that the hunger strike could lead to Shcharansky’s death.
Her fears are shared by Shcharansky’s wife, Avital, who lives in Jerusalem and who has been in the United States for the past eight weeks on her husband’s behalf. Mrs. Shcharansky has not seen her husband since 1974 when she was permitted to emigrate.