Zalmanson Collapses During Her Hunger Strike, Taken to Hospital
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Zalmanson Collapses During Her Hunger Strike, Taken to Hospital

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Silva Zalmanson, who was rushed this morning to Beth Israel Medical Center after she collapsed on the 16th day of her hunger strike, was described by a hospital physician as being in “a fair condition.”

Dr. Allan Bennett told an impromptu press conference outside the hospital that Ms. Zalmanson is suffering from low blood pressure, low sugar levels, from dehydration and exposure, He said she will have to stay at the hospital for a few days. Dr. Bennett said that tests are being conducted to determine if her past condition of tuberculosis, which she developed while in a Soviet labor camp, is re-emerging because of the fast.

Ms. Zalmanson, who was fed fluids intravenously, expressed the wish, according to Dr. Bennett, to continue the hunger strike after her discharge. But the doctor said he doubts if she will be able physically to do it. Ms. Zalmanson was fasting at the Isaiah Wall, across from the United Nations, in an appeal to the Soviet Union to release her husband and two brothers from prison.


Eleanor Holmes Norton, New York City Commissioner of Human Rights, visited Ms. Zalmanson at the hospital’s emergency room and said she was in good spirits. Ms. Norton read to the press conference a message from the Soviet Embassy in Washington sent to Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D, NY) who had requested a visa for Ms. Zalmanson to return to the Soviet Union to visit her husband and brothers.

The Soviet Embassy rejected Rep. Holtzman’s request, claiming that Ms. Zalmanson is not a Soviet citizen and that affairs of a citizen of a third country have nothing to do with Soviet-American relations.

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