The wife of the Soviet dissident, Anatoly Shcharansky, appeared at the European Security Review Conference in Madrid on May 6, to petition for her husband's release from prison.
GV EXT Palace of Congresses, Madrid.
SVs & CU U.S. delegate to the security conference and Mrs. Shcharansky in head scarf. (3 SHOTS)
SCU Mrs. Shcharansky talking to reporter. (SOT)
TRANSCRIPT: MRS. SHCHARANSKY: (SEQ 3) "I think this is the place where people from thirty-five countries together with the Soviet talk about human rights. Today, Anatoly isolated from whole world for fifteen months - nobody see him even after his three-and-a-half months hunger strike. His mother make the statement that she worried he can not survive in the prison. And I think that this is the right place to talk here in Madrid at the conference about my husband's health and about the Soviet Jews in generally. It's a great deal of anti-semeticism in Russia. And ten hundreds Refuseniks sitting in the Soviet Union tried to emigrate already for many years. All of them in great dangers today. And I think it's a good idea to come here and to talk, talk about human rights to remind the people what they talk about."
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Background: The wife of the Soviet dissident, Anatoly Shcharansky, appeared at the European Security Review Conference in Madrid on May 6, to petition for her husband's release from prison. This came amid a Soviet rejection of new Western human rights proposals aimed at breaking a deadlock at the conference now in its third year. Mrs. Avital Shcharansky met United States and other Western ambassadors but was ignored by the Soviet delegation. Her husband is serving a 13-year jail sentence for treason and spying and has recently ended a 120 day hunger strike in protest against restrictions on seeing visitors and receiving mail. Mrs. Shcharansky told reporters, "The document on human rights in Madrid is being negotiated on the bones of my husband and other activists". She said she had come to Madrid because she believed it was appropriate to petition for human rights at a forum where they were under discussion. Mrs. Shcharansky, who last saw her husband nine years ago, was brought to the conference by a group of Western reporters. Spanish authorities tried to evict her but she was allowed to stay when the United States delegation issued her with a formal invitation. She said there had been no direct news from her husband since the end of his hunger strike in February and that no friend or family had seen him in fifteen months. Negotiations on the human rights proposals continue at the conference.