On 24 February 1968, an appeal was sent to the Budapest conference of Communist and Workers’ Parties, the full text of which we quote here:
“TO THE PRESIDIUM OF THE CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE OF COMMUNIST PARTIES IN BUDAPEST
“A series of political trials have been conducted in our country in recent years. The essence of these trials lies in the fact that people have been tried for their convictions, in violation of their fundamental civil rights. Precisely as a result of this, the trials have been conducted with gross violations of legality, the major one having been the absence of publicity.
“Our society no longer wishes to submit to such illegality, and this has led to indignation and protests, which have been growing from trial to trial. A great number of individual and collective letters have been sent to various judicial, governmental and party organs, all the way up to the Central Committee of the Communist Party. These letters have gone unanswered. Instead, the reply to those who have protested most actively has been dismissal from their work, a summons from the KGB and threats of arrest, or finally – the most shocking form of reprisal – forcible confinement in a mental hospital. These illegal and anti-human actions can produce no positive results; on the contrary, they increase tension and give rise to further indignation.
“We believe it our duty to point out also that several thousands of political prisoners, of whom the rest of the world is virtually unaware, are in the camps and prisons. They are kept in inhuman conditions of forced labour, on a semi-starvation diet, exposed to the arbitrary actions of the administration. After they have completed their sentences, they are subjected to extra-judicial and frequently illegal persecution – restrictions on their choice of a place of residence and administrative surveillance, which places free men in the position of exiles.
“We also call your attention to the fact of discrimination against small nations and the political persecution of people who are struggling for national equality, all this being particularly clear in the case of the Crimean Tatars.
“We know that many communists abroad and in our country have repeatedly expressed their disapproval of the political repressions of recent years. We ask the participants in the consultative meeting fully to consider the peril caused by the trampling on the rights of man in our country.”
The appeal was signed by:
- Alexei KOSTYORIN – Writer; Moscow, 31 Malaya Gruzinskaya St, apartment 70
- Larissa BOGORAZ – Philologist; Moscow V-261, 85 Leninsky prospekt, apartment 3
- Pavel LITVINOV – Physicist; Moscow K-1 8 Alexei Tolstoy St, apartment 78
- Zampira ASANOVA – Doctor; Uzbek SSR, Fergana Region, Yangi-Kurgan
- Pyotr YAKIR – Historian; Moscow Zh-280, 5 Avtozavodskaya St, apartment 75
- Victor KRASIN – Economist; Moscow, 24 Belomorskaya St, apartment 25
- Ilya GABAI – Teacher; Moscow A-55, 18 Novolesnaya St, block 2, apartment 83
- Boris SHRAGIN – Philosopher; Moscow G-117, 2/3 Pogodinka St, apartment 91
- Anatoly LEVITIN-KRASNOV – Religious writer; Moscow Zh-377, 3rd Novokuzminskaya St, 23
- Yuly KIM – Teacher; Moscow Zh-456, 73, Ryazansky prospekt, apartment 90
- Yury GLAZOV – Linguist; Moscow V-421, 101/164 Leninsky prospekt, apartment 4
- Pyotr GRIGORENKO – Construction engineer, former Major-General; Moscow G-21, 14/1 Komsomolsky prospekt, apartment 96