HC Deb 25 July 1986 vol 102 c841 9.35 am
Sir Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)

I beg to ask leave to present a petition on behalf of the Holy Trinity church, Beckenham, the Beckenham Baptist church, the church of St. Paul's, Penge, St. Anthony's church, Penge, the Penge Congregational church, St. John's church, Penge, and almost 700 residents of Beckenham and Penge, who are concerned about the poetess Irina Ratushinskaya who is confined in a Soviet labour camp for writing poetry. She is in very poor health and, in the view of her husband and other fellow prisoners, her life is in danger.

The petitioner pray that your honourable House encourages the Foreign Secretary and his colleagues in their representations to the Soviet Government with the purpose of obtaining both the release of Mrs. Ratushinskaya from the labour camp and her urgently needed medical assessment and treatment. I wholeheartedly support the petition. Irina Ratushinskaya's fate has depressed and shocked many of my constituents. She will continue to suffer while many of us enjoy a holiday. We hope that during the recess the Foreign Secretary and other hon. Members will remind the Soviet authorities that we deplore their behaviour in this and many other cases.

To lie upon the Table.