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Refusnik Sentenced to One Year

Dmitri Shchiglik, 53, has been found guilty of “parasitism” and “malicious evasion of payment for support or maintenance” of his first wife and sentenced to one year in a labor camp, it was reported by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry (NCSJ). Shchiglik, who has been applying for an exit visa since 1973, was sentenced to one year on the charge of parasitism and six months on the charge of non-support, but is serving the two sentences concurrently.

The NCSJ said that his lawyer was unsuccessful in proving that Shchiglik, who was employed as a maritime engineer for 36 years, was living off the salary he had earned working for the Hydro Meteorological Service.

As to the second charge, Shchiglik’s former spouse claimed that he had pressured her to sign a contract releasing him of all monetary obligations and responsibilities. This claim came six years after their divorce and despite a statement she signed in his emigration file that she did not object to his desire to emigrate and that all alimony and child support payments have been made in full.

Shchiglik was arrested July 16 and detained in prison while Soviet authorities investigates his case. He left his job in April to protest against being denied permission to emigrate and not receiving notification about his last visa application in 1979.

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