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Soviet Jew Released from Prison but Ordered to Report for Draft

June 6, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Aleksandr Panarev, a 20-year-old Prisoner of Conscience from Sukhumi in the Soviet Republic of Georgia, has been released from prison where he served a one-year term for alleged draft evasion, according to the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

While Panarev was released one month early, on April 1, he has been told by the Soviet authorities to report to the local draft office on June 15, the NCSJ reported. Panarev protested the move, saying he would be unable to give the required “oath of allegiance” because he had applied to emigrate to Israel.

Soviet authorities, the NCSJ said, then informed Panarev that “he would serve in any case.” The NCSJ said this appears to be an attempt at harassing Panarev and noted that similar tactics, requiring military service of Soviet Jews, have been used in the past in an attempt to thwart emigration attempts.

Panarev and his mother, Klavdia, have been waiting over ten years for permission to emigrate to Israel to join his aunt, Ida Shteinberg, the NCSJ said. A similar tactic was used against another young refusenik, Simon Shnirman of the Ukrainian town of Kerch, who is currently serving a second sentence for “draft evasion.”

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