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Three Long-term Refuseniks Get Permission to Emigrate

Two long-term refuseniks told two weeks ago that their know ledge of “state secrets” would no longer be used as a grounds for denying them permission to emigrate have been promised exit visas, the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews reported Monday.

Roald Zelichonok, 52, and Eduard Markov, both of Leningrad, were notified by OVIR emigration authorities last week that they could emigrate.

Another Soviet Jew long refused for “state secrecy” reasons also has received permission. He is Julian Khasin of Moscow.

Lynn Singer, a past president of the Union of Councils and now executive director of the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry, received the news in telephone conversations she had with the three men.

The reports were confirmed by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

Zelichonok, an electronics engineer who was jailed for teaching Hebrew in the privacy of his apartment, has been waiting 10 years for an exit visa. He received his permission last Friday.

Singer said Zelichonok had remarked that the first Jewish observance of anything in his life was Chanukah 1977, and so his permission on Chanukah was especially meaningful to him.

Zelichonok’s wife, Galina, returned to Leningrad last Wednesday after three months in the West, where she was treated for an eye disease and attended a scientific conference in her husband’s stead.

Markov, an energy engineer refused permission to emigrate for nine years, was told last Tuesday he could leave.

Khasin, a computer engineer, had been refused permission to emigrate since 1980.

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