MOSCOW — A Jewish woman has begun a hunger strike to win the right to emigrate and stopped nursing her baby to conserve her strength, the woman's husband said Monday.
Alexander Kholmyansky said that his 27-year-old wife, Anna, began fasting Sunday to pressure Soviet authorities into granting the couple an exit visa. "She will just be taking water. No fruits, no vitamins, nothing but water," Kholmyansky said.
Kholmyansky's wife stopped breast-feeding their 5-month-old daughter, Dora, during her hunger strike to keep up her strength, Kholmyansky added.
Kholmyansky, 37, said exit visas for himself and his wife are being denied partly because his father-in-law objects to their emigration. Under Soviet law, parents of a would-be emigrant must submit a certificate that says the applicant has no financial obligations toward them. His wife's father has declined to furnish such a certificate, Kholmyansky said.
Kholmyansky was released in 1986 from prison after serving a 2 1/2-year term. He was accused of having a revolver in his home, a charge he denies. In reality, he says, he was jailed for teaching Hebrew.