Zand Reported on Way to Israel After Receiving New Exit Visa

Prof. Mikhail Zand, whose exit visa was arbitrarily revoked by Soviet authorities only hours after it was issued a month ago, has reportedly left Moscow with a new visa and is expected in Israel later tonight. Zand, a specialist on Oriental languages, will join the faculty of Bar Ilan University as a lecturer in literature. He was fired from his post at the Institute for Eastern Studies in Moscow last March after participating in a Moscow demonstration against the trial of Jews. Zand was arrested on that occasion and served 15 days in jail on charges of “hooliganism.” His case became a cause caliber in Jewish and other academic circles in the United States. Numerous scholars sent petitions to Soviet authorities appealing for a new exit visa for Zand and his family said to be in poor health and suffering serious economic hardships. Soviet authorities reportedly told Zand that his visa was revoked pending an investigation of “undesirable activities” on his part. The activities reportedly consisted of conversations with Western friends. Jewish sources reported earlier this week that Zand was finally given permission to leave Russia.

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