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Soviet Jewish Women Fight for Refusniks

A group of Jewish women in Moscow has taken the lead in fighting for the release of Prisoners of Conscience and the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate.

The group—”Jewish Women Against Refusal”— are refuseniks and the wives of refuseniks, many of them trying for more than a decade to obtain exit visas and suffering consequent isolation and hardship.

Jewish Women Against Refusal acted on behalf of Natan (Anatoly) Shcharansky and others, and “has also written to the International Red Cross in Geneva asking that food and clothing be sent to the prisoners and that the world be kept informed of the state of their health and that they are being humanely treated,” historian Martin Gilbert reported.

One of the signatories, Elena Dubianskaya, has been waiting nearly 10 years for an exit permit. Another is Ida Taratuta of Leningrad, who, with her husband, Aba, and son, Misha, have been regularly refused exit visas since 1974.