KGB steps up intimidation

President-elect Jimmy Carter’s position on human rights in the USSR is being deliberately examined by a relentless KGB offensive. Beginning with an unexpected willingness to release Vladimir Bukovsky, the KGB has stepped up its campaign to intimidate Soviet Jews and human rights activists.

Two weeks ago, Amnir Zavurov was arrested in Uzbekistan for violating passport regulations. A few days later Vladimir Sverdlin, a 43-year-old mechanical engineer, was arrested in Leningrad, accused of-illegally possessing firearms. Although released shortly’ afterwards, he was told not to leave Leningrad.

Sverdlin has been very active in recent months in attempting to spread cultural-educational activities among young Jews in the city. Over 100 Leningrad Jews, many of whom are members of Sverdlin’s Shalom Club, have signed an appeal on his behalf.

Meanwhile in Vilnius, physics Professor Naum Salansky has been accused of “anti-Soviet slander”—possessing and distributing anti-Soviet literature. Salansky was stopped- from going to Moscow to participate in last month’s cultural seminar and he had to give an undertaking not to leave Vilnius while the investigation was continuing.

There is considerable concern for Salansky among the Moscow activists because he suffered a heart attack nearly three weeks ago. Despite this, he is still being called in twice a week for interrogation.

Jewish Observer 13 January 1977

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