WASHINGTON (Sep. 14)
United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar has asked the World Health Organization and the United Nations Human Rights Commission to act on behalf of Soviet prisoners who have been denied adequate medical attention, Sen. Charles Percy (R.III.) announced here yesterday.
Percy, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote to de Cuellar last July, after he become concerned about the deteriorating health of Soviet Jewish and non-Jewish prisoners, including Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Paritsky. The Senator received a letter from the UN official Monday, saying that he had complied with the request.
“I hope that his personal involvement will be helpful to these people who are so desperately in need of help and comfort,” Percy said. He noted that Soviet prisoners with severe heart problems, such as Paritsky, are forced to do hard labor such have been confined to mental institutions for their political beliefs.
In his letter to de Cuellar, Percy noted that although the two agencies are independent of the Secretary General, when Percy and 250 members of the illinois medical community asked then Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in 1972 to help Soviet Jews who needed medical attention, Waldheim agreed to intervene on their behalf.