The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania has already written about the trials of the faithful: P. Plumpa, P. Petronis, J. Stašaitis, V. Jaugelis, J. Gražys and (Miss) Nijolė Sadūnaitė. These persons were brought to trial because they multiplied religious literature, the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania and similar publications.

In mid-July, well-documented facts about the sentencing of Petras Plumpa-Pluiras to the Permė labor camp  reached the

Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania. Povilas Petronis, Juo­zas Gražys and Nijolė Sadūnaitė are currently in similar positions.


Before being transported to Russia, Plumpa was held all week in solitary confinement. When leaving Vilnius, he was placed in a wagon with criminals, although political prisoners should be kept separately. For all of two months Plumpa was thrown in with murderers and thieves, who displayed their bestial talents in every way possible. Some of them took away the warm imported shoes given him by his wife in Vilnius, others divested him of his quilted jacket, others took his hat, gloves, etc. There were some who forced Plumpa into a corner and tried to learn the details of his trial, and failing to do so, stipped him to his underwear and threatened to disembowel him. Plumpa did not take any food with him to the camp—every­thing was taken away in the wagons, and, to top it all off, he was kicked around. All this was done with the knowledge of the authorities, for Plumpa kept telling them that he was tried under political articles and should be transported separately.

In Minsk, the guards showed greater hatred than even the criminal prisoners. After learning that Plumpa was tried because of his religion, they viciously shouted that religious writings and articles are forbidden. They even took away his little pictures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They pushed him around in a rage; even the criminals were astonished, since they were being treated somewhat better.

With the intention of physically and morally breaking him, the Soviet guards degraded him for two months in cells with murderers. Not once during the year he spent in the Vilnius security prison was his health examined, although he suffered the entire time from high blood pressure and chronic eye infections. During his trial a certificate from the Security Police was read aloud stating that Plumpa was healthy. On what basis had that certificate been written if Plumpa was not once examined by a doctor? It seems that on the basis of a need to fabricate as harsh a sentence as possible. When Plumpa was brought to the labor camp, his blood pressure was 90/165. He told the camp authorities that he suffered from hypertension, an eye infection and chronic coughing which started after he contracted pneumonia three times. Regardless of this, the head of the camp's work detail assigned Plumpa to work dangerous to his health. Because the work dust was very harmful to his lungs, Plumpa had to wear a face mask while working; because of insufficient air, veins burst in his eyes; and because of persistent eyelid infections and dust, his trachoma flared up again. Plumpa began to see things in a blur and in the morning could see nothing at all. The infection was so acute that his entire face was affected.

After the trial, until July, Plumpa did not receive the slightest news from home. On May 25th of this year, he sent a statement to the Supreme Soviet Presidium of the USSR, in which he officially renounced his USSR citizenship, and requested permission for himself and his family to emigrate to Argentina. The reason Plumpa gave for renouncing his USSR citizenship was the fact that the faithful are denied their basic rights and he is being treated like an animal. On July 2nd, Plumpa received a letter from Moscow that his statement was being forwarded to the Attorney General of Lithuania. There is a danger that he might be given an additional sentence. With Plumpa is a prisoner who received a five-year sentence for renouncing his USSR citizenship and asking permission to emigrate.

After not receiving any news from her husband's place of deten­tion in half a year, Aldona Pluiriene, Plumpa's wife, sent a letter of inquiry. She was answered that that her husband was in good health and that since no record was kept on letters coming into the camp, camp authorities could not explain why Plumpa had not received her letters. After her inquiry, Plumpa immediately received three of his wife's letters, written over a period of several months.

Nijolė Sadūnaite, sentenced in June for attempting to reproduce copies of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church, in Lithuania {see Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, No. 17) was taken to her place of detention on July 18th.

Nijolė Sadūnaitė will be sewing gloves. She is allowed to write two letters a month.1

'In November of 1977, Nijolė Sadūnaitė was released from labor camp and sent to do three years of banishment. As of February 23, 1978, her mailing address was unknown.