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Sakharov on hunger strike over treatment of his wife

Nobel Peace Prize-winner Andrei Sakharov went on hunger strike May 2 after Soviet authorities ordered his wife, Yelena Bonner, not to leave the closed city of Gorky, where Mr. Sakharov has been exiled, a friend of the family said Tuesday.

Sakharov is said to have vowed to be on hunger strike ''until the very end or until they (the authorities) allow her to go abroad for (medical) treatment.'' Both Sakharovs are reported to be in poor health.

Ms. Bonner told the friend, mathematician Irina Kristi, that the police had accused her of anti-Soviet agitation and threatened to charge her with treason, which carries the death penalty.

The police ordered Ms. Bonner not to leave Gorky while they considered whether to file formal charges, Ms. Kristi said.

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