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Pentecostalist dissident to go to Siberian home

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The Soviet Union planned to release Lidya Vashchenko, the hunger-striking Pentecostalist, from a Moscow hospital late Wednesday night, Monitor staff member Anne Shutt reports.

Miss Vashchenko is one of seven Siberian Pentecostalists who took refuge in the US Embassy in Moscow in 1978 after being denied permission to leave the Soviet Union for religious freedom.

Miss Vachchenko went on hunger strike in December, but was taken to the hospital Jan. 30 because the embassy could no longer offer proper care. Since then she has been in Soviet custody.

US Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan, who has been working for the family's release, said Miss Vashchenko was not permitted to return to her family and friends at the embassy but will be taken to her home in Siberia, where she will renew attempts to apply for emigration for her and her family. It was not anticipated that she would face any harmful consequences for her protest.


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