Soviet Cancer Patients Meiman and Maryasin Permitted to Leave
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Soviet Cancer Patients Meiman and Maryasin Permitted to Leave

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Soviet refusenik cancer patient Inna Meiman, 54, has received a temporary visa to come to the United States for treatment of a tumor on her neck. She will arrive in Vienna on Sunday. She is expected to arrive Monday evening at Dulles Airport. The Lombardi Cancer Center of Georgetown Medical Center in Washington has offered to treat Meiman at no cost.

The information was received by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency from the New England Medical Center in Boston, which hosted the first major medical press conference on the plight of the Soviet cancer patients in August 1986.

Meiman’s visa is a temporary one good for one year, and she must leave Moscow alone. Her husband, Naum Meiman, 75, who is ailing, will not be allowed to accompany his wife, Naum Meiman is an 11-year refusenik and dissident, formerly a member of the disbanded, unofficial Moscow Helsinki monitoring group.

The Soviets have been reluctant to release Naum Meiman, although for a time they expressed some ambiguity on his status and raised a tiny bit of hope that he would be permitted to accompany his wife.


Dr. Gerald Batist, the Montreal oncologist who has kept on top of the case as well as that of all refusenik cancer patients, told JTA he considers the Meimans’ separation “a cruel mistreatment of a person. It is pitiful to see a superpower treat a cancer patient this way. Separation from her husband will only make the treatment more difficult. She is coming to fight both for her life and for her husband.”

Batist said that a nurse from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow will escort Inna Meiman from Moscow. She is extremely ill. The tumor on her neck is the fifth recurrent tumor of its kind. She has been operated on four times in the USSR for the previous growths, and Soviet doctors told her they could do no more for her.


Meanwhile, another cancer patient, Leah Maryasin, was told Tuesday that she would be permitted to emigrate with her husband, Alexander. The Maryasins are 15-year refuseniks. The Canadian Embassy in Moscow was informed of the Soviets’ decision on the couple.

Maryasin, 61, suffers from myeloma, a primary tumor of the bone marrow that causes other growths on bones. She has had several tumors since 1980. The Maryasins are expected to come to Toronto, where her sister, Mara, and brother-in-law, Eugene Katz, live. The Maryasins have been told to report to the OVIR emigration offices January 19.

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