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Brailovsky Given 3 Years 3 Months in Siberian Exile; Sentence Denounced

June 19, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Viktor Brailovsky, a 45-year-old cyberneticist and leading Jewish activist was sentenced by a Moscow court today to three years and three months in Siberian internal exile for alleged anti-State defamation, according to the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.

The term was reduced from five years because Brailovsky had been imprisoned since last Nov. 13. two days after the opening in Madrid of the review conference of the Helsinki agreement, which the Soviet Union signed, which strongly supports basic human rights. Brailovsky was the organizer of unofficial scientific and Jewish seminars, which met in his apartment in Moscow, and the editor of the Samizdat (underground) “Jews in the USSR.”

The SSSJ and the UCSJ declared, “The trial of Dr. Viktor Brailovsky proves yet again that in the USSR today, innocence means guilt, advocacy of Jewish identity is criminal and the desire to rejoin one’s people in their ancient homeland is treasonous.”


Dr. Seymour Lachman, chairman of the Greater New York Conference on Soviet Jewry called Brailovsky’s conviction “an attempt of the basestsort to crush the Jews of the USSR under a lid of repression.” New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams sent a cable to Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev urging him “to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Brailovsky and his family are permitted to join their relatives in Israel.” He also cabled the Procurator General of the USSR calling the arrest and trial of Brailovsky “a flagrant violation of his basic rights under both Soviet and international law.”

Brailovsky’s wife, Irina, who attended the two-day trial, said the internal exile sentence “is better than a labor camp.” Under Soviet penal practice, one month in jail is equivalent to three months in exile, the SSSJ reported. Maximum sentence for slandering the state is three years in a labor camp.

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