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Family of Ilya Ripps Refused Permission to Emigrate to Israel

The family of Ilya Ripps, the Latvian Jewish student who set himself on fire in April, 1969, reportedly because he had been denied an emigration visa, have been refused permission to go to Israel, a friend reported today. The friend. Mrs. Musia Kaplan of Riga, said that Mrs. Cila Ripps and her family were denied emigration on grounds that they have no relatives in Israel and that a “hooligan” like Ilya Ripps cannot be allowed to leave the Soviet Union.

Mrs. Kaplan said that one of the KGB (secret police) officers supervising the surveillance of the Ripps family told them: “We will liquidate you here.” The son, 22, must report to a psychiatric clinic monthly. He has been permitted to live at home, where he has become fluent in Hebrew.

Other Jewish sources in Riga reported today that the authorities have resorted to a new device to prevent Jewish migration to Israel. The sources said a Jew named Reuven Atlas of 88 Talinat Street, and his wife had applied for exit visas with all the required documents in order, but were turned down. When they asked why, they were told they needed the consent of Mrs, Atlas’ 70-year-old father. The sources said the law requires parental consent only for minors. Atlas is 52 and his wife nearly 50.

(In New York, reliable Jewish sources could not confirm the published report from Moscow today that 200 Soviet Jews were given exit visas last Friday and that the Jewish visa total so far this year is a record 6,500. But the sources noted that there is a 10-day waiting list for Acroflot flights out of Russia and that seating is unavailable on flights to Vienna, the usual stopover on the way to Israel.)

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