Extra-judicial persecution, July 1974 (32.18)

<<No 32 : 17 July 1974>>

Volkov and Golubev, students at the Latvian State University (physics and maths faculty) listened to and recorded on tape some excerpts from Solzhenitsyn’s book Gulag Archipelago, broadcast by a foreign radio station. They then reproduced the recording for their colleagues.

They have been expelled from the Komsomol and the university.

*

V. Kanarsky, O. Bugai and A. Lenkin, students at the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute (engineering and cybernetics faculty, 5th year) have been expelled from the institute for irreverent utterances about the physical appearance of L. I. Brezhnev during a television programme.

A teacher of social sciences, Kozhan, denounced them. The Komsomol committee censured them for “political hooliganism”. Although a general student meeting did not support the censure, the students were expelled at the request of the Komsomol committee (Order No. 88, 16 April 1974).

*

At the end of May 1974 two 15-year-olds, Tomas Cepaitis and Ramunas Abukevicius from the S. Neris secondary school in Vilnius, were expelled for inscribing on a brief-case: “Russians, go home!” Some poems about the self- immolation of R. Kalanta [see CCE 26.11 and CCE 27.3] also contributed to their expulsion.

The boys were advised to ‘repent’, but they refused. The reasons given for their expulsion were ‘drunkenness’, ‘smoking’, etc.

Abukevicius’s father was dismissed from work.

*

A teacher at the Moscow Institute of Engineering Technology and a Master of Physical-Mathematical Science, the mathematician M. I. Grabar [see CCE 2.1, No. 24], has been compelled to leave his job “at his own request”. At the beginning of April this year the deputy rector of the Institute warned Grabar that his appointment would not be renewed and advised him not to try and find a new teaching post.

The previous summer Grabar had been summoned to an interrogation in the case of Bolonkin (see CCE 29.3 and CCE 30.4). Bolonkin testified that he had taken some book published by Possev from a book-shelf in Grabar’s house without his knowledge. Grabar stated that he was not familiar with any books published by Possev and that if such a book really had been in his house, he knew nothing about it.

Grabar was allowed to teach his students through till the end of the term.

*

In May of this year an assistant lecturer, Makarevsky, was dismissed from the Bauman Higher Technical College in Moscow.

At the departmental meeting at which the question of his dismissal was discussed, the basic pretexts voiced concerned Makarevsky’s involvement in the case of Bolonkin. Materials from the Bolonkin case referring to Makarevsky had been sent to the Institute from the court or the KGB. (To judge by these materials, Bolonkin testified that he kept his samizdat at Makarevsky’s. Makarevsky denied this during the investigation.)

Other reasons for Makarevsky’s dismissal are of a professional nature.

*

Konovaltsev, who was also interrogated in the Bolonkin case, has been dismissed from the Moscow Institute of Aeronautical Engineering.

It is known that at his trial Bolonkin retracted all the evidence he had given during the investigation (see CCE 30.4).

*

GINZBURG AND MARCHENKO

In April Alexander Ginzburg, and in May 1974 Anatoly Marchenko, who both live in Tarusa, Kaluga Region, were placed under police surveillance, the former for six months and the latter for a year. The conditions of the surveillance are as follows: they are forbidden [i] to go beyond the boundaries of their district — and the district boundary passes a few hundred metres from where they live; [ii] to visit the Palace of Culture, which houses the only cinema in the town; [iii] to leave home after 8 pm; [iv] they are obliged to report to the police once a week; and so on.

In the event of any infringement of the surveillance rules they face the threat of imprisonment under Article 198-2 of the RSFSR Criminal Code. As early as May Ginzburg was summoned to court for the imposition of a fine for failing to register with the police. A penalty was not imposed, as it turned out that he had been ill, and there was documentary confirmation.

*

The families of both Ginzburg and Marchenko live in Moscow; Ginzburg and Marchenko are not able to live in Moscow under the regulations of the residence permit system [propiska], and now that surveillance has been imposed, they are deprived of the opportunity of visiting their families.

Ginzburg is a friend of Solzhenitsyn’s family and has his power of attorney. He is authorized by Solzhenitsyn to give material assistance to prisoners and their families on behalf of the writer and using his funds (see A Chronicle of Human Rights, No. 8).

Marchenko is the author of several open letters and statements; he was a signatory of the “Moscow Appeal’ (see this issue, CCE 32.1, section 12).

The “Surveillance Regulations” allow either

[1] ‘in essential cases’, for the term of surveillance prescribed to be extended for six months at a time until the expiry of the period that the original conviction remains “on the record” [i.e., the same period as the original sentence];

or

[2] for surveillance to be instituted not later than three years after release (see the 26 July 1966 Decree of the Praesidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Gazette of the Supreme Soviet, 1966, No. 30).

*

The reimposition of surveillance after a break is not provided for by law, yet Ginzburg and Marchenko were already under surveillance following their release from imprisonment, and this had been terminated in accordance with the law.

Ginzburg protested against the new period of surveillance, in the manner prescribed by law, but no reply had come from the procurator of Kaluga region after more than two months.

Marchenko wrote a statement for the press regarding the surveillance (see this issue, CCE 32.22, item 15).