Statement on Signing a Legislation Concerning Human Rights in the Soviet Union

March 22, 1982

I have signed House Joint Resolution 373, expressing the sense of the Congress that the Government of the Soviet Union should cease its abuses of the basic human rights of its citizens, in particular the right to freely practice one's religion and the right to emigrate to another country. The resolution draws special attention to the hardships and discrimination now being imposed upon the Jewish community in the U.S.S.R.

I wholeheartedly join with the Congress in renewing our call to the Soviet Government to cease its repressive actions against those who seek the freedom to emigrate or to practice their religious or cultural traditions. These freedoms are a fundamental part of our American heritage, and their denial is a matter of the deepest concern to our government and citizenry. We urge the Soviet Union to take positive steps to ensure that its policies and practices conform with its international obligations to respect the individual rights of its citizens.

Note: As enacted, H.J. Res. 373 is Public Law 97 - 157, approved March 22.