Slepak Returns Home After 5 Years in Exile in Siberia

Vladimir Slepak of Moscow, known as the father of the Jewish emigration effort in the Soviet Union and one of the leading Jewish refuseniks, returned to his home last Saturday from exile in Siberia where he had served a five-year sentence for “malicious hooliganism,” Genya Intrator, chairman of the Canadian Committee for Soviet Jewry, reported today.

Slepak’s wife, Maria, received a three-year suspended sentence, at the same time her husband was sentenced, for the same offense. He sentence was suspended for medical reasons, Ms. Intrator said. Although Ms. Slepak did not have to go to Siberia, she nevertheless spent the five years in exile with her husband near the Chinese border in Tzochto-Changil.

Ms. Intrator reported that Slepak was visited by friends upon his return home to Moscow and they said he did not look too bad, except that his hair and his beard had turned completely white. The Slepaks are each 57 years old. Ms. Intrator said the Slepoks’ family in Israel hopes the couple will join them soon. At present living in Israel are Maria’s sister and her family.

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