The Psychiatric Conference held in Honolulu, Hawaii, condemned the use of psychiatry to punish an individual for his beliefs, his search for freedom, or for following his conscience. Human rights violations are not ceasing, however, but have acquired new methods.
The expulsion of students from schools of higher learning for religious convictions is an obvious violation of the most basic human rights. It is for this reason that in the Soviet Union more and more disguised methods, which cannot be traced, are being used. "Undesirable students" are given "unsatisfactory" grades during state examinations. They are deprived of a diploma and of work in their chosen field.
In the spring of 1978 at the Kaunas Medical Institute during a state examination on scientific communism, sixth-year student [Miss] Zita Veizbergaitė was given an "unsatisfactory" grade. (Veizbergaitė is not a member of the Communist Youth League, and in the spring of 1977 she was interrogated about her religious activities by the State Security Committee [see The Chronicle, no. 27] This incident was reported by Vatican Radio).
When she retook the exam in the spring of 1979, her knowledge was again evaluated as "unsatisfactory." Thus, she is being kept from working as a physician even though she has passed all her examinations in medicine.
In the spring of 1979 sixth-year student [Miss] Valė Maršėnaitė received an "unsatisfactory" grade in the Public Health and Social Hygiene exam (Department Head: Professor Kindziulis). She was not allowed to retake the exam until the results of her scientific communism exam were determined. As expected, she received an "unsatisfactory" grade on this examination. (Marlėnaitė is not a member of the Communist Youth League and has been known to be a believing and practicing young woman since entering the Kaunas Medical Institute). She had diligently prepared for and participated in every scientific communism seminar. The results of the state exam in her field of specialty were rated "good."
Philosophy and Scientific Communism Department Head Leonavičius has shown great initiative in these vile acts. Aksomaitis, Naumovas, Žemaitaitis and other lecturers do not lag behind with their involvement.
During the 1979 spring session, fifth-year student [Miss] Ramunė Butkevičiūtė "failed" her political economics examination. (The student is not a member of the Communist Youth League and was interrogated in 1977 by the State Security Committee regarding her religious activities [see The Chronicle, no. 27] This was reported by Vatican Radio.) Her knowledge of subjects in her field of specialty was rated "good" and "very good" during the spring session.
In July 1979 Professor Šalna of the History of the Soviet Union Communist Party and Political Economics Faculty reexamined Butkevičiūtė and graded her "good." Professor Šalna was issued a reprimand by the rector of the Kaunas Medical Institute in Document no. 149 for testing the student.
The Head of the Faculty of History of the Soviet Union Communist Party and Political Economics, [Miss] Misiūnaite, makes a great effort to discriminate against students, while instructor [Mrs.] Papinigyte-Kalvers does so during examinations.
Students at the Kaunas Medical Institute were informed that the above-named students belong to religious sects which compel them not to study and ignore political science. After the party's Central Committee adopted the decision "Regarding the further ideological and political education and the improvement of its effectiveness," incidents such as those mentioned above have tended to increase in number; therefore, we ask that society, in general, and the student population of the free world, in particular, draw the world's attention to the described incidents and, through protests, support the students being discriminated against.