News in Brief, December 1973 (30.14)

<<No 30 : 31 December 1973>>


Boris Shilkrot, whose arrest was reported in CCE 29, has been sentenced to 6 months in a strict-regime camp for violation of residence regulations.

In 1969 Shilkrot was sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment under Article 70 of the RSFSR Criminal Code (CCE 17 and 22). He spent the last year and a half of his term in Vladimir Prison and was released on 12 August 1972. After this he settled in the town of Luga in Leningrad Region. As of 7 December 1972 he was placed under official surveillance.

Three violations by Shilkrot of the surveillance regime were recorded. In March 1973 he spent one night away from home (fined 10 roubles); in April he reported a day later than specified (15-rouble fine); in June he returned home 20 minutes after the curfew hour fixed for him.

He was tried on 17 August 1973. Baranov, Chief of the Surveillance Division, was one of the principal witnesses.

Shilkrot is serving his term in a camp with this address: Kirov Region, penal institution 216/1 [note 1].


Boris Zdorovets (see CCE 7), indicted under Article 187-1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (which corresponds to Article 190-1 of the RSFSR code), has been tried in Kharkov. His arrest was reported in the preceding issue. Zdorovets is an invalid who has lost one of his arms. He came to Kharkov from Siberia, where he had spent 3 years in exile after the Mordovian camps. His wife and three children live near Kharkov (in Merefa, it appears) [note 2].


Zhores Medvedev (see CCE 6, 14, 22) was deprived of his Soviet citizenship on 8 August 1973.

Medvedev is a biologist, a specialist in genetics and gerontology, and the author of well-known works on public issues: “The History of the Genetic Debate, “International Scientific Collaboration and National Borders” , “The Privacy of Correspondence is Protected by Law, “Ten Years After One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and A Question of Madness //* (written jointly with his brother Roy Medvedev).

In connection with his scientific work Zhores Medvedev had gone to London in early 1973 with the permission of the Soviet authorities.


Early in August 1973 the writer Andrei Sinyavsky, a former political prisoner [CCE 4, 20], used the permission granted him to go to France with his family for an extended stay and see to his affairs there. Sinyavsky, known in the West also as “Abram Tertz”, was arrested in September 1965 and sentenced to 7 years in strict-regime camps. He was released early in June 1971.


In July 1973 Sergei Georgievich Myuge (see CCE 22, 24), who had been under investigation since October 1971 (Article 190-1 of the RSFSR criminal code), received permission to emigrate. Myuge left the USSR in early September 1973.


Anatoly Jakobson, 1935-1978

In early September 1973 Anatoly Jakobson, together with his family, left the USSR for Israel. Yakobson (see CCE 4, 8, [11, 25]) is a poet, translator and literary scholar (his book on Blok, The End of a Tragedy, recently appeared in the West). In the spring of 1973 he was elected a member of the International Pen Club. His articles on public issues circulated widely in samizdat. Jakobson was a member of the Action Group.


On 1 September V. Albrekht, V. Arkhangelsky, I. Korneyev and A. Tverdokhlebov announced the establishment of “Group 73″. The aim of Group 73 is to find ways to assist people who have been persecuted for their “attempts to secure universally acknowledged rights and freedoms”.[*] //


On 28 October 1973 A. Tverdokhlebov wrote to [F. K.] Pruss, commandant of the Special Psychiatric Hospital in Dnepropetrovsk, about his concern for the fate of L. Plyushch. Citing the hospital’s regulations on the quantity and contents of food packages permitted, Tverdokhlebov asks whether it is possible to treat people under such conditions. He questions the legality of L. Plyushch’s confinement in this special psychiatric hospital.


At the end of November 1973 the RSFSR Supreme Court reviewed, on appeal, the case of Andrei Amalrik (see CCE 17 and 29). The court upheld the verdict of the Magadan Region Court, but, taking into account Amalrik’s poor health, commuted his 3 year sentence in a strict-regime camp to 3 years of exile. Since Amalrik had already served four months in prison, and a day in prison counts for three days of exile, he actually has two years left to serve.

Magadan City is the place designated for his exile.

When Amalrik was released from custody, it was learned that he had declared a hunger strike after his trial, in protest against the verdict, and had maintained it until his release, i.e. for over three months.


L. Korenblit, S. Dreizner and V. Boguslavsky, convicted in one of the Leningrad trials (see CCE 20), have been released.



[1] Here Shilkrot met Ya. Khantsis (See CCE 28 & 32). In 1974 Shilkrot emigrated to Israel (See CCE 32).

[2] An error: an appeal of Kharkov Baptists dated 5 April 1974 gives the same address for them as was given in previous years: Kharkov Region, Dergachev district, Olshany settlement, 24 Krasnoarmeiskaya St. The appeal gives the camp address of Zdorovets: Voroshilovgrad Region, Perevalsk, postbox 314/15.

[3] See relevant documents in A Chronicle of Human Rights (New York), No 4, 1973.