Mrs. Yelena Sakharov, wife of the dissident Soviet scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Andrei?
Mrs. Yelena Sakharov, wife of the dissident Soviet scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Andrei Sakharov, said in Rome on Friday (14 November) that she had been unable to telephone her husband for two days. On Wednesday (12 November) Soviet authorities refused Dr. Sakharov permission to travel to Norway to collect his Nobel prize.
Speaking at a news conference in the Italian capital, Mrs. Sakharov made it clear that she thought Soviet authorities were deliberately preventing her from contacting her husband. "They just tell me there is no reply" she said.
The official Soviet news agency, Tass, said on Thursday (13 November) that Dr. Sakharov had been refused an exit visa solely because he held important state secrets. Mr. Sakharov has dismissed this as "a pretext" and described the Soviet decision as part of a personal vendetta against her husband because of his civil rights activities.
Dr. Sakharov--who once played a leading role in the development of the Soviet Union's hydrogen bomb--has been a leading critic of Soviet authorities for several years. After his nomination as Nobel Peace Prize winner he was described in the Soviet press as an "anti-patriot" and a "pro-Fascist".
Mrs. Sakharov is visiting friends in Rome following an eye operation in Sienna. During her stay, Italian press and political parties have expressed strong criticism of the Soviet attitude towards her husband.