Document 195 of the Moscow Helsinki Group (65.20)

<<Moscow Helsinki Group documents, 1976-1982>>

On 6 September 1982 the Moscow Helsinki Group adopted document No. 195.

“On 31 July 1975, the USSR, the countries of Europe, the USA and Canada signed the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference. The Moscow Group “to assist the implementation of the Helsinki Accords in the USSR” was set up in May 1976. Its work was to prepare and publish documents containing information about the violation of the rights of individual citizens and groups of the population in the USSR – rights that had been declared in the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference and in other international agreements signed and ratified by the Soviet government.

“During its work the Moscow Helsinki Group has prepared and published 194 documents. They were all addressed to the heads of states who had signed the Helsinki Act. Soon after the Moscow Group was founded similar groups came into existence in Ukraine, Lithuania, Armenia and Georgia and also in certain Western countries.

“In the USSR, the Helsinki Groups were harshly persecuted from the moment they appeared. At present the following members of the Moscow Helsinki Group, the Commission to Investigate the Use of Psychiatry for Political Purposes, and of other public groups that work with them are imprisoned or in exile: Yury Orlov, Anatoly Shcharansky, Vladimir Slepak, Malva Landa, Victor Nekipelov, Leonard Ternovsky, Tatyana Osipova, Felix Serebrov, Ivan Kovalyov, Alexander Podrabinek, Vyacheslav Bakhmin, Irina Grivnina, Anatoly Koryagin, Tatyana Velikanova, Alexander Lavut and Gleb Yakunin. Almost all the members of the Helsinki Groups in Armenia, Georgia, Lithuania and Ukraine have been arrested and imprisoned.

“After the arrest of Ivan Kovalyov on 25 August 1981 only three members of the Moscow Helsinki Group remained at liberty and they were placed in such conditions that it became impossible to continue their work. On 23 December 1981 a criminal investigation was begun against Sophia Kallistratova, one of the three remaining members of the group. On 6 September 1982 she was charged under Article 191-1 of the RSFSR Criminal Code, and Documents 69-181 of the Moscow Helsinki Group formed the main evidence against her. In these circumstances the Group can no longer carry out the obligations it took upon itself and finds itself forced, under pressure from the authorities, to cease its activities.

Signed by members of the Moscow Helsinki Group,

Yelena Bonner, Naum Meiman and Sophia Kalistratova

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See also CCE 65.5, The case of Sophia Kalistratova