Moscow Helsinki Group Documents 69-81: Dec 1978 – Feb 1979 (52.16)

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

No. 69 (8 December 1978): “30 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (Appeal). The writers consider it necessary to:

  • Release all prisoners of conscience;
  • Revoke Articles 70 and 190-1 of the Russian Criminal Code;
  • Revoke the part of Article 64 of the Russian Criminal Code which allows people to be persecuted for attempting to exercise their right to choose which country they wish to live in …
  • Revoke all obstacles preventing people from exercising their right to choose freely which country to live in … and their place of residence within that country;
  • End all persecution of believers;
  • Effect radical changes in the regime of the prisons, camps and special psychiatric hospitals;
  • Abolish compulsory labour in places of imprisonment; revoke Article 209 of the Russian Criminal Code;
  • End politically motivated psychiatric repressions;
  • End discrimination in education and at work on the basis of nationality, belief, religious faith, or a previous sentence, or in connection with the persecution of relatives;
  • Provide guarantees of freedom of association;
  • End … violations of postal and telecommunication services; Revoke all decisions to remove citizenship for political reasons.

The first signature at the foot of the appeal is that of Yury Yarym-Agayev (CCE 48), a new member of the Group. The appeal is open for signature for one year.

No. 70 (8 December 1978): A report on instances of politically motivated persecution.

No. 71 (8 December 1978): 25 letters about their ordeals from people wishing to leave the USSR.

No. 72 (14 January 1979): “30 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (see “Human Rights Day” in the section “Miscellaneous Reports”).

[No. 73 was omitted from this issue and has not been found by the 2006 compilers,]

No. 74 (25 January 1979): Concerns a statement made by H. Carter, an official of the US State Department, that the human rights situation in the USSR has substantially improved.

No. 75 (20 January 1979): “On So-called “Special Courts’”

There exists a secret list of enterprises, institutions and even some areas of habitation, according to which all criminal and civil cases relating to people who work in these institutions and enterprises, or live in these areas, are removed from the normal workings of the law.

The document cites an example: Yu. Yarym-Agayev (a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group), a Research Officer at the Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences, was transferred from one laboratory to another. Because he considered this transfer to be incorrect he filed suit in the October district people’s court in Moscow to be reinstated in his post. Judge G. G. Kozina did not accept the suit for examination, adducing “non-jurisdiction” as the reason for her refusal. Yarym-Agayev lodged a complaint about the refusal with the Moscow City Court. On 24 January 1979 the City Court left the decision of Judge Kozina “unchanged”, since from information supplied by the Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences, it is clear that the affairs of the Institute fall under the jurisdiction of Court No. 12.

No. 76 (20 January 1979): “Persecution of people who attempt to form independent associations to defend workers’ rights. Persecution of particular workers.” (See CCE 51 and “Arrests, Searches, Interrogations” in CCE 52.// the present issue.)

No. 77 (25 January 1979): “The Movement to Defend the Rights of the Disabled in the USSR is threatened with reprisals?” (See CCE 51 and “Defence of the Rights of the Disabled” in the present issue.)

No. 78 (30 January 1979): “New repressions” (see CCE 51 and present issue).

No. 79 (25 January 1979): “Persecution of the Helsinki Groups” (see CCEs 44 to 50).

No. 80 (1 February 1979): “Persecution of Doctor Semyon Gluzman” (see CCE 51 and present issue).

No. 81 (1 February 1979): “Declaration about the execution of Stepan Zatikyan and two other unnamed people”. See “The Case of the Explosion on the [Moscow] Underground, March 1979 (52.1) in this issue.