Soviet dissident mathematician Leonid Plyushch, still visibly week from two and a half years in a soviet mental hospital, drew a harrowing picture of life for political detainees in the Soviet Union, at a news conference in Paris on Tuesday (3 February).
SV PAN NEWSMEN AND AUDIENCE APPLAUDING PLYUSHCH AS HE ENTERS ROOM.
GV PLYUSHCH SEATED AT TABLE AND SPEAKING IN RUSSIAN
SV PHOTOGRAPHERS AND TRANSLATOR AT TABLE WITH CUTAWAYS TO PLYUSHCH AND AUDIENCE. SOF STARTS: "I Consider...." SOF ENDS: "..Communism" (7 shots)
Speech on film. Translator for Plyushch: "I consider it your international duty to struggle for human rights in all countries and to condemn actively persecution for opinions held. The names of Vladimir Bukovsky, Valentine Moroz, Sieman Gluzman, Ivan Svetitchhy, Eugeny Sverstuck, Kronid Lubatsky, Nicolae Plakhotnyuk, Olests Sievienko, and many other are already quite familiar to you. The savage persecution of dissidents in the Soviet Union is a shameful taint on the bright ideals of communism."
Initials RH/2050 AMN/AH/RH/2100
This film includes comments made by Mr. Plyushch made through a translator. A transcript follows:
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Soviet dissident mathematician Leonid Plyushch, still visibly week from two and a half years in a soviet mental hospital, drew a harrowing picture of life for political detainees in the Soviet Union, at a news conference in Paris on Tuesday (3 February).
The 37-year-old Ukranian described scenes in mental hospitals where "political patients", bullied by common criminals serving as male nurses, vied with lunatics for cigarette stubs lying among used toilet paper.
At the French news conference - his first public appearance since he reached the West a month ago - Plyushch accused Soviet doctors of aiding police in their interrogations, brutalising prisoners and ordering injections of sulphur which induced insufferable pain.
Plyushch, speaking at first with difficulty, made clear that he was still a committed Communist. He said it was the Soviet regime which was "sick.. and a shameful taint on the bright ideals of socialism".
Plyushch vowed to keep up the fight for political and other freedoms within the Soviet Union. He called on Western Communists and civil liberations "to fight for man's right in the U.S.S.R. It is your international duty".
Dr. Plyushch was arrested on anti Soviet charges in his home city of Kiev in 1972. He was committed to a psychiatric hospital the following year, after doctors said the he was suffering from Schizophrenia.