To the Editors:
The life of Yuriy Shukhevych, son of a Ukrainian nationalist and head of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, is in grave danger.
Born in 1933, Yuriy Shukhevych has experienced persecution at the hands of Soviet authorities for almost his entire life. In 1944, his mother was sent to a Siberian camp. In 1948, at age fifteen, he was arrested and subsequently imprisoned for the “crime” of being the son of a famous Ukrainian nationalist. In 1950, his father died while in the custody of the Soviet secret police.
In 1958, on the eve of his release from prison, Shukhevych was visited by KGB officials who demanded that he renounce his father and publicly condemn the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. He repeatedly refused this demand and was sentenced to a ten-year prison term for “Anti-Soviet agitation among inmates.”
In 1968, Shukhevych was set free but was denied the right to live in the Ukraine. In 1970, he signed a joint statement in defense of the persecuted Ukrainian historian Valentyn Moroz. In 1972, he was sentenced to a ten-year term of confinement in a concentration camp.
Today, Yuriy Shekhvych continues to languish in a concentration camp. He suffers from an intestinal ulcer and is denied medical attention.
It is important that citizens of all persuasions protest this gross violation of human rights by the Soviet Union. Please write to President Carter and urge him to intercede with Soviet authorities, for the release of Yuriy Shukhevych.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio