A group of 14 Jewish refugees in the Roman port of Ostia are on a hunger strike in support of their desire to emigrate to the West, and want to settle in the United States, Canada or Australia.
CU Newspaper cutting saying "Soviet refugees still fasting."
GV INTERIOR Soviet refugees in crowded flats.
GV PAN Beds of refugees.
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Background: A group of 14 Jewish refugees in the Roman port of Ostia are on a hunger strike in support of their desire to emigrate to the West, and want to settle in the United States, Canada or Australia. They are Soviet Jews who in 1979 obtained the right to emigrate to Israel. But they left Israel and moved to Greece. There they were told by a Jewish organisation to go to Italy where they would get help obtaining visas for their chosen countries. So far the consulates and embassies of these countries have turned them down on the grounds that they have already been resettled in Israel and have lost their refugee status, or because they do not meet the necessary requirements for emigration. The refugees say their situation is hopeless. They live in crowded flats, have no medical assistance and no schools for their children. Many make a living out of selling trinkets at the local flea market. One of the hunger strikers said he was dissatisfied with his earnings as a machine operator when he arrived in Israel, but agreed the real reason for leaving Israel was his determination to get to the United States.