Exiled dissident Andrei Sakharov accused the Soviet Academy of Sciences yesterday of revoking his rights as a member to participate in the prestigious group's annual meeting this week.
Banished Jan. 22 to the closed city of Gorki, 250 miles from here, Sakharov demanded in a statement passed to Western correspondent that his fellow academicians, about 230 senior scientists, take up "this violation of the academy's carter."
On Monday, the executive presidium of the academy telegraphed Sankharov that since his presence in Moscow was "not envisaged, you are freed from taking part in the session." He declared this "anonymous decision for my banishment" and "intolerable" action.
Police barred reporters from the Sankarov family apartment in central Moscow in an attempt to prevent the Nobel Peace laureate's statement from reaching correspondents, according to Kevin Klose of the Washington Post. Two men from Moscow prosecutor's office warned his mother-in-law that she would be criminally liable for continued visits by "criminal elements and foreign correspondents," she said.
The 80-year-old Ruf Bonner, who spent 17 years in Stalinist prison camps, denounced these warnings as "illegal."
The academy's yearly general meeting is to continue for several days. So far, there is no indication that any move will be made to expel Sakharov from membership, although he has been stripped of all state honors and officially denounced for allegedly slandering the Soviet state and passing military secrets to the West. Sakharov denies these charges.