A Jewish emigrant from the Soviet Union yesterday dramatized the significance of the United Nations' Declaration for Human Rights, on the document's 30th anniversary, by detailing how he had been denied the rights which the document assures.
Ilya Glezer, once a research biologist at the Soviet Union's Institute of Psychiatry of the Medical Academy of Sciences, told a Human Rights Day celebration here that he was "tortured spiritually and tortured by inhuman treatment in the Soviet Union."
Glezer, 47, now on the faculty of Ben Gurion University in Israel, was given a six-year prison sentence in 1972 for "anti-Soviet propaganda, slander and other crimes," charges which he claims stemmed from the Soviet Union.
Glezer read out one principle after another as set forth in the Human Rights Declaration and then, in halting English, recounted how he had been denied that right at Soviet hands.
"In the labor camp I was in a real slave position," he said of the Human Rights roscription against slavery.
Of the declaration's call for fair and open trials for persons accused of crimes, he said: "My trial was closed even to my mother... my attorney was not the attorney of my choosing but from the KGB," the Soviet secret police.
Sponsored by the Jewish Community Council, the Human Rights Day event forcused primarily on the struggle of Soviet Jews.
But Episcopal Bishop John T. Walker reminded the gathering that human rights violations occur elsewhere. "It is not only the Jews in the Soviet Union who have sufered,c he said, "but the people of Ugand who have suffered, of South Africa... Namibia... Nicaragua... People all over this earth suffer because of the tyranny of small men. We must always stand on guard against those who would deny human rights for others."
The Rev. Edward A. White, president of the Washington area Council of Churches and executive of regional Presbyterian Churches, reminded the gathering that Americans concerned with human rights ought to remember that their own nation has never ratified the UN rights declaration.
"I don't believe we will ever get human rights across the face of the earth until the citizens of every country accept the responsibility for their own government's actions." White said.