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Youth's Return to Zimbabwe

January 24, 1988

The only thing as shocking and as outrageous as the torture and terrorizing of this child would be his proposed treatment by our country in ending his rescue and returning him "home" to further suffering and probable death.

Have we forgotten the recent case of Lisa Steinberg beaten to death by her father and other similar cases? The fact that the present case happens to involve a foreign country should pale before the overwhelming human need to help this child.

I believe that there is at least one type of action that is still open: Any one of our congressmen could introduce a bill granting the child asylum in the United States. I urge them each to do this, and the Immigration Department and the President to also act.

When, some years ago, a Soviet youngster elected to stay in the United States (not due to threat to life or limb as here, but out of choice), our government had no trouble supporting him. Can we now abandon this child, who is too terrified to even talk about his parents, in the crisis facing him at the proposed "family reunion?"

A child is waiting. A child is screaming. Where are "human rights?"

YVONNE JOHNSON

Manhattan Beach

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