INTRODUCTION: A Soviet Jew condemned to 13 years detention in a Soviet camp in 1978 is reported to be slowly dying at the age of 32.
SV Man holding pamphlet showing picture of Shcharansky
GV Poster of Shcharansky calling for his liberty
SV Avital Shcharansky at demonstration
GV Crowds holding protest banners (2 shots)
GV PAN Big crowds preparing for march
SV Jewish officials holding posters of Shcharansky
SV Mrs. Shcharansky
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A Soviet Jew condemned to 13 years detention in a Soviet camp in 1978 is reported to be slowly dying at the age of 32. Anatoly Shcharansky, a computer programmer, was jailed for his major role in the Soviet "Helsinki" Human Rights Group in the 1970's. He'd been found guilty on charges of spying for the United States. About 70 members of the European Parliament have signed an appeal to Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev for his release. And on Wednesday (6 May) 1,000 demonstrators marched in Paris, demanding his release.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration was one of several bids that Shcharansky's wife, Avital, has made to arouse international public opinion.
Mrs. Shcharansky was due to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday (7 May) about her husband's deteriorating condition, and about the plight of dissidents trying to leave the Soviet Union.
Mr. Shcharansky's weight, normally about 65 kilos. (143 lbs.) has, through alleged poor care and malnutrition, dropped to 48 kilos (105 lbs.) Since January, he's said to have been isolated in a small, dark cell, and allowed out for air only a half hour a day. His sight is reported to be failing.
Demonstrators marched about a mile (1.6 kms), from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place Trocadero, to protest what they described as Shcharansky's alarming state of health.