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Levich Fears He and His Wife Will Not Receive Exit Visas

Fifty-two members of Parliament have signed a motion condemning the treatment of Prof. Benjamin Levich, a leading Soviet Jewish scientist who has been denied an exit visa since he first applied for one in 1972 and was stripped of all of his high ranking academic posts. The MPs called on the Soviet government to honor its commitments to human rights including the right to emigrate, which it undertook when it sighed the Helsinki accords.

In Moscow, meanwhile, Prof. Levich told Western reporters that he feared the Soviet authorities would renege on a promise they made to him in June, 1974, that he and his wife, Tanya, would be permitted to leave in 18 months. His sons, Alexander and Dr. Yevgeny Levich were issued exit visas early this year and are presently in Israel.

Levich said that as the time for his own departure approached he contacted the authorities but was given no definite date for his departure and was told that “the every question of my departure, which I had thought settled would be considered in 1976.”

The motion in Parliament was sponsored by MPs of all political persuasions and by the All-Party Parliamentary Committee for the Release of Soviet Jewry, chaired by Conservative MP Hugh Dykes. The committee’s secretary, Labor MP Greville Janner, tried unsuccessfully to present a copy of the motion to the leader of the Soviet delegation at the Anglo-Soviet Round-Table Conference currently being held at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. A Soviet diplomat said “The matter of Prof. Levich will be solved” but refused to convey the motion to the Russian Ambassador, Nicolai Lunkov.

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