TEL AVIV (Sep. 1)
Ninety-six Riga Jews have written to Soviet Communist Party Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev, Soviet President Nikolai V. Podgorny and Russian Prosecutor General Roman A. Rudenko, demanding an end to what they called judicial persecution of Jews “who are trying to achieve the realization of their right to emigrate to the State of Israel.” In reporting the development, Russian sources said the petitioners wrote that “judging by trials held in Leningrad and Riga, one cannot help getting the impression that the purpose of these trials is to intimidate the Jews who are insistently trying to achieve their right to emigrate to the State of Israel.” The writers charged that a “vicious circle” exists when requests for permission to go to Israel are followed by baseless and unlawful refusals, rebuttals by applicants and reprisals against them. “The only logical way out of this vicious circle.” the Riga Jews wrote, “is the satisfaction of the lawful right to emigrate to Israel of those Jews who strive for in. Free the prisoners. Let them go in peace.”
Meanwhile, sources said 10 Georgian Jews have protested in writing to the Russian Minister of Communication that the Russian postal authorities have been holding up hundreds of emigration affidavits sent to Georgian Jews from Israel. The writers charged the authorities with “an attempt to isolate us from our relatives and from our people in Israel.” Russian Jewish sources also reported that Vladimir Markman, the Sverdlovsk Jew who had complained about the behavior of the judge in the trial of Valery Kukui, is continuing to make his charges in the face of evasive reactions from the authorities. Markman had complained that the judge had willfully flouted justice in order to sentence Kukui, who received a three-year term for alleged anti-Soviet activities. (There continues to be no word on Kukui’s appeal, scheduled to be heard Aug. 5) Jewish sources in Russia also reported the names of the seven Sverdlovsk Jews who appealed to the Soviet Peace Committee to let them meet the six Israeli guests of the committee and discuss with them the Kukui case and Jewish migration to Israel. They are Vladimir Aks, Vera Vechtavietsky, Rita Kiselman, Yuli Kusherovski, Dina Zhovina, Markman, and Ella Kukui, the prisoner’s wife.