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Ailing Woman's Visa Delay Laid to Bureaucrats

January 10, 1987|WILLIAM J. EATON | Times Staff Writer

MOSCOW — U.S. Ambassador Arthur A. Hartman complained Friday that bureaucrats are defying the orders of their Kremlin bosses by not giving an exit visa to a Soviet woman dying of cancer.

Hartman said the woman, Inna Kitrosskaya Meiman, 53, has been "getting the runaround" despite assurances from Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze that she would be able to leave the country.

According to Hartman, Shevardnadze gave such assurances to former Democratic Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado when Hart was here recently. Inna Meiman and her husband, Naum, 76, have a daughter living in Colorado.

Hartman said the case made him sympathize with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and other Politburo members who have complained about bureaucratic sabotage of their new programs.

Doctor's Orders

Naum Meiman, he said, was asked to get a document from the Ministry of Health to expedite his wife's departure. But when Meiman got there, a doctor in the International Deparment said he had been ordered not to issue the document.

"She is weaker every day," Hartman said. "We don't know how long she is going to be able to travel."

Inna Meiman has neck cancer, and four Soviet operations have not improved her condition. She hopes new methods of treatment not available here may save or prolong her life.

Naum Meiman, a mathematician, has been refused permission to emigrate since 1975. He is a former member of a Moscow group that monitored Soviet compliance with the human rights provisions of the Helsinki accords of 1975.

Hartman, who departed from custom to comment publicly on the Meimans' troubles, said he wants to ask Shevardnadze why his orders are not being carried out.

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