Soviet Officials Giving Zand Run-around; Zand Reported in Poor Health

Soviet officials are resorting to stalling tactics on the issuance of a new visa to Prof. Mikhail I. Zand to replace the one they revoked last Friday hours after it had been issued, it was learned here today. Dr. Zand, a specialist on Oriental languages and an activist for Jewish emigration rights, was told to apply for a new visa on Tuesday. When he came to the Moscow visa office yesterday he was told to come back Friday. Meanwhile, Jewish sources reported that Dr. Zand is in poor health. According to these sources, he was approached several days ago by a Soviet official who suggested that he go into a hospital. When Dr. Zand declined the offer, the official reportedly told him, “You are a stateless person.” The official was referring to the fact that all those who apply for exit visas must give up their Soviet citizenship. Dr. Zand learned that his visa was cancelled last Friday after he had rushed to make travel arrangements for himself and his family to Israel via Vienna. He was told by officials that complaints of “undesirable activities” were made against him, apparently the result of his conversations with Western visitors, and that he could not leave until they were investigated. Last week Dr. Zand seemed confident that he would get a new visa on Tuesday. He sold all of his belongings in anticipation of going to Israel.

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