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Shcharansky Ill After Receiving Drugs

Imprisoned Jewish activist Anatoly Shcharansky has become seriously ill from drugs administered to him by Soviet doctors to treat a heart ailment, his wife, Avital, told the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry (GNYCSJ). She said she had that alarming news from Shcharansky’s mother, Ida Milgrom, in a telephone call from Moscow last week.

Mrs. Milgrom told her daughter-in-law that she received a short letter from her son on June 9, dated May 22, in which he explained that he was unable to write for more than a few minutes because of his physical condition. According to Mrs. Milgrom, Shcharansky wrote that the authorities at Chistopol Prison where he is confined gave him new medication early in May after he complained of severe chest pains.

He developed an allergic reaction to the drug which caused sores and swellings on his hands and entire body. The drug made him groggy and he was unable to move from his bed for two weeks, Avital Shcharansky reported. She said Mrs. Milgrom feared for her son’s life and planned to travel to Kazan, the city closest to the prison to ensure that he is hospitalized and receives proper treatment. Mrs. Milgrom, 76, vowed to stay in Kazan until she is permitted to see her son.

Shcharansky’s wife told the GNYCSJ that no one has seen Anatoly since January, 1982, She urged concerned people all over the world to write to Yuri Andropov, First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet on behalf of her husband.

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