Approximately 80 people rallied last night at Burr Hall to protest the 14 year incarceration of Ukrainian dissident Valentyn Moroz on the 148th day of his voluntary hunger strike in Vladimir Prison outside Moscow.
The rally, sponsored by the Harvard chapter of the Committee for the Defense of Soviet Political Prisoners, aimed to "build support for Soviet dissidents" and to "give attention to those people whose cases have been ignored."
Jerry Keene, a member of the Soviet Worker's Party, said last night that the historian Moroz had been jailed for "protesting the 'Russification' of other nationalities in the Soviet Bloc and the oppression of Soviet Jews."
Keene called Moroz, "a symbol of the entire Ukrainian nation and the countries of the Soviet Bloc who are denied their rights."
Press coverage and rallies in defense of Soviet dissidents are important in affecting the Soviet Bloc countries, Keene said. "One action in a Soviet Bloc country affects other bloc nations."
Jeri Labor, a member of Amnesty International (New York chapter) criticized the Russians for "professing concern for the Common Man and for Humanity while they are shoving tubes into men in prison just to say they're alive."
Moroz's condition in Vladimir Prison where he has been confined with the insane and isolated for two years is an example of inhumanity, Labor said.
Moroz began his voluntary hunger strike in July when he found brain-damaging drugs were being mixed with his food, he how weighs 90 pounds and is suffering from a blood and liver ailment, the committee reported last night.
Write to Kennedy
Speakers at the rally last night distributed postcards and urged supporters to write Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.), Sen. Edward M. Brooke (R-Mass.) and Congressman Thomas P. O'Neill (D-Mass.) to gain their support for Moroz.
During his first three years incarceration and the nine months between his second arrest in 1969, Moroz wrote four essays criticizing the Soviet totalitarian system.
Former president of the Czech Student Union, Karel Kovanda, said last night that "there is a consistent policy of atomization in socialist countries." He said it "sadly holds true that knowledge between neighboring Soviet Bloc countries is far more negligible than Soviet Bloc knowledge of other countries."