WASHINGTON (Mar. 7)
The Soviet Union has given “fresh refusals” to Jews wishing to emigrate who were allegedly privy to state secrets, refusenik Judith Lurie told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Tuesday.
“We have several refuseniks for state secrets who have never had any secrets before. I am speaking about the fresh refusals,” Lurie said from Moscow in a telephone conference call placed by B’nai B’rith International.
In addition, “those old refuseniks who happen to be in contact with secrets more than 10, 15 and 25 years also have been given fresh refusals,” she said.
On another issue, Lurie said the new Jewish cultural center in Moscow, the Solomon Mikhocls Center, which opened Feb. 12, has been closed temporarily for “repairs.” But she did not blame the closing on any political foul play.
Lurie spoke after B’nai B’rith leaders in 10 countries and five states praised her role in a hunger strike planned Wednesday through Friday by 46 refuseniks belonging to Jewish Women Against Refusal.
The first day of the hunger strike, held annually since 1987, coincides with International Women’s Day.
The National Conference on Soviet Jewry Wednesday was to call Inna Uspensky, a member of Lurie’s group, from the office of Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio), chairman of the Congressional Coalition for Soviet Jews. Congressional Wives for Soviet Jews and the U.S. Helsinki Commission also planned to sponsor that event.
The Union of Councils for Soviet Jews was to call another Soviet Jewish women’s group, Jewish Women for Emigration and Survival in Refusal, on Wednesday and Thursday.