Board of Trustees
New York, New York
We note with great concern reports emanating from Moscow that Anatoly Shcharansky has been formally charged with the crime of treason. These charges, which were first made in an Izvestia article alleging Mr. Shcharansky's involvement with the Central Intelligence Agency are patently false. His only "crime" has been an expressed desire to emigrate from the Soviet Union, and his courageous commitment to participate in a group monitoring Soviet implementation of the human rights sections of the Helsinki agreement.
More specifically, this is the latest, and perhaps most disturbing, manifestation of a campaign being waged by the Soviet government against Jewish activists and others who demand a greater measure of freedom within the Soviet Union. Its seriousness parallels that of the infamous "Doctors Purge" of the Stalin era, and raised unpleasant echoes of the Mendel Belis trial. We commend President Carter's statements on behalf of Shcharansky and we urge the United States to persist in protesting this flagrant violation of human rights so that all charges against Mr. Shcharansky be dismissed immediately and that he be permitted to emigrate to Israel to be reunited with his wife.