The United States charged yesterday that the Soviet Union had violated international law in stripping three renowed dissident of their citizenship.
Subjected to the punitive action were the conductor of the Washington National Symphony Orchestra, Mstislav Rostropovich, his wife singer Galina Vishnevskaya, and former Maj. Gen. Pyotr Grigorenko.
Speaking of the Rostropovich case, State Department spokesman Hodding Carter said the United States "regrets that the Soviet Union has seen fit to take this unacceptable action." He said the actions against the Rostropoviches and Grigorenko violated both the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the 1975 Helsinki agreement.
In Paris, Rostropovich responded: "In this unhappy time for us we ask our friends, music lovers and all people of goodwill to express their opinion on the inhuman and illegal act which has denied us the right to live and die in our own land."
The renowed cellist and conductor continued: "We know that here, abroad, a dog thrown out on the street will be protected by a society for the prevention of cruelty to animnals, which is often able to call its owner to account.
"Is it possible that in our world there is no society capable of defending those who are cursed and cast out.