HL Deb 10 December 1981 vol 425 cc1507-8WA
Lord Campbell of Croy

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the present situation of Andrei Sakharov and Anatoly Shcharansky; and what action the Government have taken.

Lord Trefgarne

It has been reported that Academician Sakharov's step-daughter-in-law, Lisa Alexeyeva, was told on 9th December by a Soviet official that she would be allowed to emigrate and that, on hearing of this decision, Academician and Mrs. Sakharov had ended their hunger strike. We understand that Lisa Alexeyeva will be allowed to visit the Sakharovs in Gorky in a few days' time. These reports, if confirmed, are a matter of deep satisfaction. The Foreign Ministers of the Ten member states of the European Community had issued a statement on 8th December urging the Soviet Government to allow Lisa Alexeyeva to leave the Soviet Union. There are also reports that Anatoly Shcharansky has been sentenced to a further term of three years and returned from his labour camp to a closed prison. The Government deeply regret the continued ill-treatment of Mr. Shcharansky. At the Madrid Review Meeting and in bilateral contacts with the Soviet authorities, we have repeatedly raised his case, and those of many others suffering for their beliefs in the Soviet Union.