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U.S. Delegate to Rights Conference Blasts Soviets

November 03, 1986|United Press International

VIENNA — The U.S. delegate to a conference on the 1975 Helsinki Accords blasted the Soviet Union's human rights record today and said Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev must translate his "words into deeds" on the issue.

The conference to review the 35-nation Helsinki agreement begins Tuesday, the 30th anniversary of Moscow's crushing of the Hungarian uprising when 200,000 Soviet troops and 2,500 tanks moved into Budapest to cut short the freedom movement.

The Helsinki Accords were signed by 35 nations on Aug. 12, 1975, including the United States, Canada and all European countries except tiny isolationist Albania.

U.S. delegate Warren Zimmerman, in a television interview broadcast across Europe today, assailed the Soviets' human rights record and gave examples of abuses of the 1975 human rights accords.

He specifically named the imprisonment and exile of Soviet dissidents, including physicist Andrei D. Sakharov, the Soviet dissident nuclear physicist who is exiled in Gorky with his wife, Yelena Bonner.

Zimmerman said Soviet Jewish emigration has fallen from a high of 51,800 in the 1970s to only 1,000 in 1985, and noted that political arrests have increased.

He also said special Western Russian-language radio broadcasts have been jammed since 1980 and 41 Soviets who had been monitoring the Helsinki Accords internally are now jailed.

Zimmerman said he expects the Soviet Bloc to propose a new forum for talks on conventional arms control in Europe, "but human rights should be as important as security. The Soviet Union has simply not fulfilled its commitments in the human rights area."

He said Gorbachev has been talking about human rights and "must now translate these words into deeds."

"We feel there have been enough words," he said. "Additional words and meetings cannot take the place of commitments that have already been made."

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