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Soviet Civil Rights

To the Editors:

Amnesty International has now started publishing the Chronicle of Current Events.

This, as you know, is the major periodical publication for the promotion of civil rights in the Soviet Union. A dispassionate and factually accurate document, it enjoys a wide unofficial circulation in the USSR. It has now been appearing for nearly three years at approximately two-monthly intervals, and contains unique information on political trials, political prisoners, the labor camps, the samizdat (typescript) publications, etc. The Soviet civil rights movement is neither centrally organized nor in any general sense anti-Soviet. It concerns itself mainly with the difficulties of the Soviet citizens detained by the authorities because they have asserted the rights to freedom of expression and assembly guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR.

Over the last three years, in many cases, it has been possible to check the authenticity of the materials in the Chronicle. The main methods used have been checking against a) Soviet press reports, b) Western press reports, c) information from travelers, d) other samizdat materials. These methods have revealed a high level of accuracy and reliability on the part of the Chronicle. No single event has been significantly misreported and no nonauthentic document has been either mentioned or summarized.

The Chronicle is now available to the general public and will appear six times a year at an annual subscription of $10, including airmail postage ($2 for single copies) from AID Inc., Room 6E, 777 UN Plaza, New York City 10017.

Peter Calvocoressi

London

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