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Mrs. Slepak Tells of Questioning by Moscow Police

June 5, 1978
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mrs. Maria Slepak has told the Canadian Committee for Soviet Jewry that after she and her husband, the leading Soviet Jewish activist Vladimir Slepak, were arrested by Moscow police last Thursday they were questioned principally about he whereabouts of their youngest son who is in hiding to escape being drafted into the Red Army.

Mrs. Genya Intrator, of the Canadian Committee, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a telephone interview from Toronto today that she had spoken by telephone to Mrs. Slepak, who was released from prison Thursday night after she suffered an attack of pancreatis but was told to report back for interrogation tomorrow. Her husband is still being held at Moscow’s Buterskaya Prison.

The Slepaks were arrested Thursday after they displayed a banner from their eighth floor balcony window saying “Let us go to our son in Israel.” They were charged with “malicious hooliganism” which could draw a sentence of up to five years inprisonment.

Before police broke into their apartment, crowds in the street yelled at them. Mrs. Intrator quoted Mrs. Slepak as saying that “It is a preparation for a simple old fashioned pogrom….If the restraints were removed the mob would tear the Jews.”

Meanwhile, the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews reported here today that the Slepaks’ eldest son, Alexander, who lives in Jerusalem has cabled President Carter urging his “immediate intervention.” In his cable Alexander Slepak said, “Regarding your consistent concern for justice and human rights throughout the world and your past interest and support of the case of the Slepaks, I strongly request your immediate intervention on behalf of my parents, Vladimir and Maria Slepak who have been arrested and charged in the Soviet Union.”

Mrs. Intrator reported that yesterday 13 friends of the Slepaks demonstrated in Pushkin Square across from the Slepak home. They were taken away in a police van and interrogated. All were released except for Ida Nudel, who is considered the “guardian angel” of the Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience. The Nudel apartment was ransacked and some of her Hebrew books were taken away.

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