Refusenik Gets Permission to Accompany Sakharov to U.S.

Refusenik Boris Chernobilsky apparently has been given permission to visit the United States to attend an international conclave with Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov.

According to Lynn Singer, executive director of the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry, Chernobilsky has received permission and will leave the Soviet Union Nov. 11 to accompany Sakharov, who recently was granted authorization to travel abroad for several scientific meetings.

The two will attend a meeting of the International Foundation for the Survival of Humanity, which Sakharov heads. The conclave will be held in Cambridge, Mass.

Sakharov, the Soviet dissident physicist, human rights advocate and Nobel Prize winner, had threatened not to leave for his scheduled trip to the United States unless Chernobilsky received a travel visa, according to the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.

Sakharov received a passport to travel abroad in a new expression of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of “glasnost” (openness). Sakharov was pardoned by Gorbachev, after spending seven years of exile in the closed city of Gorky.

Chernobilsky will be allowed to travel and return to the Soviet Union, said Singer, who spoke to the longtime refusenik by phone Saturday night. His visa is good until Nov.16.

(JTA correspondent David Friedman in Washington contributed to this report.)

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