The sentencing in the Soviet Union of dissidents Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Ginzburg has attracted condemnation from many arts of the world.
SV President Carter speaking at Bonn press conference.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: CARTER: "It is obvious to us that the courageous dissidents in the Soviet Union, Mr. Shcharansky and Ginzburg, have been accused and tried and punished - or will be punished - because they have supported those who sought the basic freedoms that were guaranteed in the final act of the Helsinki Agreement, which was signed voluntarily by the Soviet Union itself, and because they supported basic commitments that are also guaranteed in the universal declaration of human rights which the Soviet Union and other members of the United Nations have publicly and officially endorsed. We deplore this action on the part of the Soviet authorities. Our sympathies and our support remains with Mr. Shcharansky, Orlov and with Ginzburg and others. Obviously we have no mechanism or any desire to interfere in the internal affairs of the Soviet Union, but the arousing of public condemnation around the world for the violation of these principles of human freedom is a legitimate role for me as a leader and for the people for me as a leader and for the people of our country."
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Background: The sentencing in the Soviet Union of dissidents Anatoly Shcharansky and Alexander Ginzburg has attracted condemnation from many arts of the world. Shcharansky, an active human rights campaigner has been sentenced to 13 years in prison and labour camp by a Moscow court on charges of espionage. Fellow dissident Ginzburg has been sentenced to eight years special regime in a labour camp for alleged anti-Soviet activities. One of the first world leaders to deplore the Soviet trials verdicts and sentences was United States President Jimmy Carter. Speaking to newsmen while in Bonn on a state visit to West Germany, President Carter said, however, that while he condemned the verdicts he did not intend to permit the trials to interfere with Soviet-American negotiations on limiting nuclear weapons.