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Victor Brailovsky

Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 24 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and. Commonwealth Affairs whether any response has been received from the Soviet authorities to representations made by Her Majesty's Government concerning the case of Victor Brailovsky.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
(Mr. Malcolm Rifkind)

No response has been received from the Soviet authorities to our repeated representations on Dr. Brailovsky's behalf. We continue to hope that pressure by both the British and other Western Governments will eventually help Dr. Brailovsky and others in his position.

Will my hon. Friend take the opportunity to raise that case at the recently convened Helsinki conference at Madrid? Will he impress upon the Soviets that they have no place in a civilised world when such regression is embodied in their policies?

The case of Dr. Brailovsky has been raised no fewer than eight times by the British delegation at the CSCE meeting. I agree with my hon. Friend's concluding remarks.

Is the Minister aware that some of us find it difficult to understand the basis of principle upon which the Government will repeatedly raise an individual case with the Soviet Union but are apparently not willing to mention the killing of 20,000 people referred to by the hon. Member for Warrington (Mr. Hoyle)?

I am currently dealing with human rights in the Soviet Union. Whenever there has been a clear abrogation of human rights in the Soviet Union, the Government have not hesitated to make their views clear to the Soviet authorities.