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Peru’s Senate Calls for Shcharansky’s Immediate Release

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The Peruvian Senate has unanimously approved a resolution supporting the immediate release from Soviet prison and freedom to emigrate for the Jewish Prisoner of Conscience Anatoly Shcharansky, the World Jewish Congress reported today.

Shcharansky is reported to be in poor health resulting from a hunger strike he began on September 27 in Chistipol Prison, a strict regime labor camp. His action was undertaken to protest the Soviet authority’s confiscation of his mail and their refusal to allow him to receive visits from his family, despite such allowances under the Soviet penal system.

According to the Latin American Jewish Congress, the resolution was adopted following a motion by Sen. Pedro Yugar Gallegos. The text is unambiguous in its appeal:

“The Senate of the Republic resolves to direct itself to the government of the Soviet Union so that the intellectual Anatoly Shcharansky, who is on a hunger strike and in a grave state of starvation, is freed and given the right to emigrate from the USSR and so give respect to the Helsinki Accords and the moral commitment it has with the civilized people of the world.”

The resolution also makes reference to Shcharansky’s present circumstances: “This Senate’s expression in support of civil liberties reaffirms its fervent desire that Mr. Anatoly Shcharansky be set free before it is too late.”

PERU’S PRESIDENT REASSURES JEWISH COMMUNITY

In a separate development, the Latin American Jewish Congress reported that Peruvian President Belaunde Terry has reassured the Jewish community following an attack on the main synagogue of Lima earlier this month.

The 5,000-member community organized in the Asociacion Judia del Peru, member community of the WJC, reported that despite property damage, there were no victims in the attack. The Asociacion issued a forceful communique following the attack:

“The establishment in our country of an office of the Palestinian terrorist organization, the PLO — which has a cruel record of terrorist acts in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America — has been accompanied by the spreading of distressing propaganda, filled with hate and anti-Semitism and fomenting acts of violence. Equal responsibility is borne by certain sectors of the press in this country, which have contributed to the exacerbation of anti-Jewish feeling.”

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