Soviet Jewish Activists Hopeful That Kissinger-brezhnev Meeting Will Ease Plight of Russian Jews
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Soviet Jewish Activists Hopeful That Kissinger-brezhnev Meeting Will Ease Plight of Russian Jews

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Jewish activists in Moscow, contacted by telephone today, place high hopes in the meetings held last week between President Nixon’s national security advisor, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and Soviet leaders. They indicated confidence that Dr. Kissinger relayed to the Soviet leadership American concern over the treatment accorded to Russian Jews seeking exit visas and expressed hope that his representations would lead to the release of Jewish political prisoners, the issuance of visas to activists who until now have been denied them and the suspension of arrests and other means of harassment of Jews.

The activists said they hope to see some signs of change in Soviet repressive policies toward Jews before Communist Party Secretary Leonid I Brezhnev’s departure for Washington next month. But as of now, they reported the mistreatment and harassment of Jewish prisoners and others continues.

The activists, contacted by the newspaper, Maariv, reported that Jacob Khantzis who was sentenced last year to two years’ imprisonment has been transferred to a mental ward although a medical examination disclosed no signs of mental illness. Khantzis suffers partial paralysis of both legs. Another prisoner, Valery Kukui, sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in 1971, has been denied the privilege accorded other prisoners of receiving letters from relatives and friends.

The activists also reported that Jewish officers and soldiers in reserve units are subjected to repeated interrogation and frequent searches of their homes.

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