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Wednesday, 16 March 1977


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drummond (FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

The document read as follows-

WHY WAS YURI ORLOV ARRESTED?

By Vladimir Lysenkov

The name of the man has been in the reports broadcast by West European and American radio and television companies and in the foreign press for almost a year. Certain circles in the West claim that Yuri Orlov, a 52 year-old corresponding member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, heads a group to monitor ... the Soviet observance of the Helsinki agreements. Orlov and a handful of his associates prepared and distributed all sorts of propaganda material slandering the Soviet policy and the socialist system.

The authorities had warned Yuri Orlov that his activities were an act of provocation and a violation of Soviet laws. He and other 'campaigners' from his group had been told that their organisation called 'the group to assist the observance of Helsinki agreements' could not be regarded as a mass organisation because it did not reflect the interests of any broad section of society and had only twelve 'angry' men and women as its members.

The Orlov group ignored the warning, however, and stepped up their activities, distributing their slanderous writings besmirching the Soviet Union and its state and social system.

Orlov and his group received moral and material support from anti-Soviet circles abroad. They were given substantial financial aid and space in the propaganda media in a number of countries.

The Procurator's Office of the U.S.S.R., which under the Soviet Constitution exercises supreme supervision over the observance of Soviet laws in this country, could not overlook these practices. It issued a warrant for a search of Yuri Orlov 's flat.

Since a lot of anti-Soviet and other slanderous material was seized at his flat, on February 1 Yuri Orlov was summoned to the Moscow Procurator's Office. There Yuri Orlov abused the authorities and refused to comply with their legitimate demands. When he was summoned again, he defied the order. A preventive measure was applied to the offender in accordance with existing laws of procedure, Yuri Orlov was detained on February 10. Later in the day the Deutsche Welle radio station broadcast a report, which was later seized on by other western news media, saying that 'Yuri Orlov, a prominent human rights campaigner' was arrested by the Soviet authorities ' for his dissenting views. '

Let's make things clear. Yuri Orlov was arrested not for his 'dissent'- no one is punished for this in the Soviet Union -but for spreading slander, that is, an offense punishable under Articles 70 and 190. 1 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation. The latter envisages punishment for systematically spreading lies slandering the Soviet state and social system.

Novosti Press Agency, Moscow


Mr WENTWORTH - I thank the House. Now let me speak of some parts of the article. Mr Orlov is a 52-year old corresponding member of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. He heads a group to monitor the Soviet observance of the Helsinki agreements. These basic agreements were meant to preserve and to give freedom of political activity inside the Iron Curtain, to make those people equal to us in this regard so that if they wanted to have propaganda among us we would have the equivalent means of having propaganda among them. Here was a man who was setting out to monitor the Soviet observance of the Helsinki agreements. The article says:

Orlov and a handful of his associates prepared and distributed all sorts of propaganda material slandering the Soviet policy and the socialist system.

That is to say, he criticised the totalitarian repression of the Soviet system. He was warned that 'his activities were an act of provocation and a violation of Soviet laws'. The article continues:

He and other 'campaigners' from his group had been told that their organisation called 'the group to assist the observance of Helsinki agreements' could not be regarded as a mass organisation because it did not reflect the interests of any broad section of society and had only twelve 'angry' men and women as its members.

That is to say, there is a judgment that somebody who puts forward a point of view and does not represent anybody else is criminal for putting forward his point of view. The article goes on about his arrest and so on and it ends up like this:

Let's make things clear. Yuri Orlov was arrested not for his 'dissent'- no one is punished for this in the Soviet Union -but for spreading slander, that is an offence punishable under Articles 70 and 1 90. 1 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation. The latter envisages punishment for systematically spreading lies slandering the Soviet state and social system.

Compare that with the position in Australia. Do we jail people for criticising our system? Most assuredly we do not. Do we say to them: 'You are only a small group. You have no mass support. Therefore it is a crime for you to put forward your views'? Most assuredly we do not. We are not allowed to put our views to the Soviet people in this war, which is at present a peaceful war but whose end, if the Soviets win, will be bloody enough. If they can paralyse our will to resist they will have no mercy upon us. Do not think that there is any prospect of survival. We cannot approach them. They are able to approach and disaffect our people. If people look around them they will see through communist and other organisations which are paralysing our will to resist. It is the duty of the Government to meet this threat and to meet it by publicising the truth about what is happening in the Soviet Union and in other communist countries.

Let me take another example- communist China. Ironically enough we have had praise from top government circles of a wonderful communist archaeological exhibition. What irony it is that the people who are putting this forward are the people who are doing everything to besmirch and destroy the culture which they put forward to us as something to admire. There is a complete contradiction between the way they treat these things in China and the way they use them to deceive us here. I say this knowing that it is a very wonderful exhibition of what the Chinese people and the Chinese culture are capable of being. It is being put forward by the people who are destroying that whole culture and whose way of political organisation is to destroy. Let us have no doubt about this. That exhibition, wonderful as it is, is a living lie and we should not be deceived into thinking that the people who put it out to us have any other kind of motive.

There will be visits to China. They are being organised by well-meaning people. People who have been in such a country will know that they see what they are meant to see. They cannot speak the language. They cannot even read the script. They see a sign but do not know whether it is a street sign, a shop direction or a sign on a women's lavatory. They do not know what the sign means at all. They are utterly in the hands of their guides. These people, well-meaning as they are, will come back from China giving us the version of things there which the Chinese communist authorities want to put over to us- a version which is a lie. They are going to use these wellmeaning people, to encourage them to go to China and to come back and propagate a lie with all the authority of returned tourists. It is exactly what happened in the 1930s in Soviet Russia when in the excesses of the Stalinist purges, murders and filth people came back to England and Australia telling us of the wonders of the socialist sixth of the world.







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