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European Mps Asked to Sign Appeal on Behalf of Soviet Jews

Members of the parliaments of 15 European countries are being asked to sign an appeal to the Soviet Union for clemency for Russian Jews who have been jailed because of their wish to emigrate or to propagate Jewish culture.

The appeal was drafted by the Office of the Interparliamentary European Conference. Jean Poperen, chairman of the Office, said it has been circulated to the 15 countries participating in the Conference and will be presented, with the signatures, to the Soviet embassies in each of the countries. The draft already has been signed by 300 members of the Swedish Parliament.

It calls for amnesty for Jews who have been jailed or harassed by Soviet authorities and for the authorities to allow Soviet Jews to emigrate or to practice their religion in the USSR if they wish to without harassment. Poperen noted at a press conference that only 1,314 Jews were allowed to leave the Soviet Union in 1983, compared to 51,328 permitted to emigrate in 1979.

He expressed concern over the decision by Moscow to prolong arbitrary detentions and to repress Soviet citizens who have contacts with foreign countries. The Interparliamentary Conference for Soviet Jews will convene in London on July 3.

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