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Human rights in US: Moscow turns the tables on Washington

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Exasperated by Washington's denunciations of its human rights record, the Soviet leadership has decided to respond in kind. A number of recent television programs and newspaper articles have depicted what they describe as harassment of US dissidents, the unhappiness of Soviet immigrants in the US, and the US's gross social inequities.

The most recent illustration of this is the case of defector Arnold Lockshin, the US scientist who arrived here with his family last week saying he had been persecuted in the US for his political beliefs.

In a story headlined ``I chose freedom,'' which appeared late last week in much of the Soviet press, Dr. Lockshin describes what he calls a ``nightmare'' of harassment, much of it by the FBI. He says he feared for his life and the lives of his family. Perhaps most significantly, on a number of occasions in his official interview he talks of a US policy of persecuting American dissidents and uses the Russian word usually applied to opponents of the Soviet system.

Washington constantly emphasizes the Soviet threat and the lack of democracy in the Soviet Union, Lockshin is quoted as saying in the article, because by doing so the US government finds it easier to ``settle accounts with [US] dissidents.''

A follow-up article quoted Lockshin as saying that, ``without any doubt,'' there were thousands of political prisoners in US jails. And the article's author, Tass correspondent Y. Kornilov, wrote that ``all-pervasive political investigation'' was one of the ``major components of the American way of life.''

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