From a June 1 letter from PEN American Center President Larry McMurtry to Mikhail Gorbachev:
In view of your initial advocacy of a free press and your encouragement of critical and innovative thinking, we are puzzled and deeply concerned by your government's curtailment of freedom of expression in a number of instances.
We are especially troubled by the cases of two Soviet writers, Bohdan Klimchak and Leonid Lubman, who are still imprisoned in the Perm 35 Labor Camp. Mr. Lubman, an economist and electrical engineer by profession, was arrested in 1977 for compiling a manuscript with some thirty profiles of corrupt government officials which he attempted to send abroad. In an interview with Representatives of the U.S. Congress Frank Wolf and Christopher Smith, during their August 1989 visit to the Perm camp, Mr. Lubman claimed to have been tortured and complained of chronic headaches and stomach ailments.
Bohdan Stanislavovich Klimchak was arrested in 1978 for attempting to leave the U.S.S.R. and for intending to publish a collection of short stories abroad. His writings, which dealt with Kurdish issues, were deemed "nationalistic" and he was convicted under articles 64 and 70 of the Soviet criminal code. Mr. Klimchak's sentence was scheduled to end in September 1989 and to be followed by five years of internal exile. To our knowledge he has not yet been released.
The continued imprisonment of these two individuals whose "crimes" are now recognized as rights in your country undermines the credibility of your own avowed support for "glasnost" policies.