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East: Group Condemns Anti-Semitism In Former Soviet Union

Washington, 17 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S.-based Union of Councils for Soviet Jews issued a report today which charges that anti-Semitism remains widespread within the former Soviet Union and is sometimes condoned by local governments.

The 250-page report says that while most of the 15 former Soviet republics have laws that make hate-speech a crime, there is little prosecution. The report cites frequent examples of what it says are "local authorities, including police and municipal officials" being what it called "blatantly anti-Semitic." The report also accuses some Communists, nationalists and elements of the Russian Orthodox Church of being anti-Semitic.

The Union of Councils played a leading role in promoting Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. The organization is private and maintains offices in Washington, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Georgia and Latvia.