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Tsitlionok Released from Exile

Soviet Prisoner of Conscience Boris Tsitlionok was released from exile last week, after spending nearly four and a half years in Siberia, according to information obtained by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). Tsitlionok, 35, became the third Soviet Jewish activist to be released in a little more than a month. As in the case of Mark Nashpitz, Tsitlionok’s sentence was reduced a few months to compensate for the time he spent in jail and in transit to his place of exile on the Yenisey River.

A plumber and locksmith by trade, Tsitlionok first applied for an exit visa in 1971, but was denied permission to leave for “security reasons”. After he was forcibly separated from his family when they left for Israel that year, he denounced his Soviet citizenship and became an Israeli. After his visa rejection, Tsitlionok was under constant surveillance and was detained and arrested on a number of occasions.

He was arrested with Nashpitz for demonstrating for exit visas in front of Moscow’s Lenin Library on Feb. 24, 1975 and sentenced to five years exile for “disturbing public order.”