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Bridge to freedom.

Bridge to freedom

There is something dramatic about crossing a bridge. This is especially true of the Glienicke Bridge between Potsdam and the Wannsee section of West Berlin, which has become the traditional place for prisoner exchanges between the Eastern and Western powers. On Feb. 11 mathematician Anatoly B. Shcharansky crossed the Glienicke Bridge, ending nine years of incarceration in the Soviet Union.

Shcharansky's treatment had symbolized the plight of the Soviet "refuseniks," people who had been refused permission to emigrate and then harassed in various ways for insisting on their desire to do so. Many of them have professional qualifications the Soviets deem sensitive to their national security. Shcharansky was sentenced in the Soviet Union on a charge of being a CIA agent, an accusation that the U.S. government denies. He insisted on his innocence in a telephone call to President Reagan the evening of his release: "As you know, I never was an American spy." After his release, Shcharansky met his wife, Avital, who had spent the last nine years fighting for his freedom, and the two went on to Tel Aviv.
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Title Annotation:Anatoly Shcharansky released from Soviet Union
Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 15, 1986
Words:185
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