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Refuseniks Khasina and Osnis Receive Permission to Emigrate

March 8, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two long-term refuseniks have been told they can emigrate from the Soviet Union, Soviet Jewry groups here reported Monday.

Natasha Khasina of Moscow, an 11-year refusenik told she would never be allowed to leave, and Marat Osnis of Chernovtsy (Chernovitz), waiting 16 years, were informed by OVIR emigration authorities over the weekend that they and their families could join family members in Israel, according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, the Long Island Committee for Soviet Jewry and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jews.

Soviet Jewry activists were overjoyed at the news.

Khasina and Osnis were told by telephone to prepare their paperwork for the OVIR authorities, who would then inform them when they could expect their visas.

Both Khasina and Osnis had been repeatedly denied the right to emigrate, based on alleged possession of “state secrets.” Khasina is a mathematician specializing in computer programming and Osnis is a computer engineer.

Last week, Khasina, 47, was part of a group of more than 100 refuseniks who went to the Moscow headquarters of the Communist Party Central Committee to review the cases of about 300 refuseniks. At the time, she was not told she had permission.

A week before that, her husband, Gennady Khasin, 50, and daughter, Judit, 10, who had applied in November to emigrate separately, were refused and told they could reapply in June. The couple has another daughter, Alyona, in Tel Aviv.

Khasina and her husband, formerly a prominent professor of mathematics, were arrested in 1976 for attending a memorial service at Babi Yar and were prevented from attending a service there the following year. They applied to emigrate in September 1977 and both lost their jobs as a result. They are observant Jews.


Khasina has been active in women’s demonstrations, at which she has been beaten by the KGB. Khasin, who teaches Hebrew, was threatened for prosecution for “parasitism” — a charge often levied at those who do not hold government-sanctioned jobs. Their apartment was searched several times and Hebrew books, personal letters and a tape recorder were confiscated.

Marat Osnis’s mother, Dr. Vanda Osnis, who lives with her husband, Dr. Yitzhak Osnis, in Kfar Saba, Israel, has traveled with the Mothers for Freedom on behalf of her son. She spoke with members of Congress in 1986 and 1987 in a plea for his emigration.

Marat, 41, and his wife, Klaudia, 36, have a son, Boris, 15, and a daughter, Dana, 4. In 1972, they first applied for exit visas together with his parents and grandmother, who were permitted to go to Israel.

Marat was refused, because he allegedly was exposed to classified materials in his engineering job. He left his job, where he had never needed security clearance, in 1971.

Osnis initially was told he would receive a visa “within a short time.” He supported his family by tutoring in mathematics and physics and performing odd jobs.

Osnis was told in 1979 that he could expect his visa in October 1981, after 10 years had passed since he had left his professional work. But he was again refused then, and many times subsequently, without explanation.

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