Singular: Lishenets. From Russian, lisheniye translated as deprivation, disfranchisement.

In the Soviet Union, lishentsy were people stripped of the right to vote and other rights after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 until 1936. They  were classified as enemies of the people, namely those who used hired labor, received unearned income (interest or rent,) merchants, clergy, former Imperial Russia policemen or military, mentally unstable. These categories were listed in both 1918 and 1924 Soviet Constitutions.

They were forbidden to work in the government, receive higher and technical education, to be a member of kolkhoz. During the famine of 1929-1930, they were not eligible for food rations. If the head of the family was a lishenets, then the entire family belonged to that category.

To restore the voting rights, the local election committee had to confirm that the person was engaged in productive labor and was loyal to the Soviet regime. The final decision was made by the highest authorities in the land.

The category of lishenets was abolished by the 1936 Soviet Constitution. However, for many years thereafter job applicants were supposed to indicate whether they had ever been deprived of voting rights. If they had, they were still considered lishentsy.

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