A Szabad Európa Rádió kutatóosztályának időszakos csehszlovákiai helyzetjelentése első helyen foglalkozott Duray Miklós ügyének kiértékelésével.
München, 1984. július 11
11 July 1984 Czechoslovak SR/13
publishing o book abroad, the content of which WAS hostile to the socialist system, thereby disparaging the state’s good name abroad and its internationel status [as well as] disseminating docunents in Czechoslovakia designed to provoke alarm among citizens of the Hungarian community.3
He also faces the charge of “subversion” (Article 98) carried over from a prior detention from November 19B2 to February 1983. At that time, Duray was brought to trial; and although the proceeding was adjourned without a verdict and he was abruptly released, reportedly at the intercession of Hungarian authorities, the charge remained on the books. Normally, it carries a penalty of one to five years imprisonment; but if the crime is found to have been committed with the aid of a foreign power, a much harsher sentence of three to ten years could be passed. The two additional charges from May against Duray may be an ominous sign that some such combination is being contemplated by the Czechoslovak authorities.
Duray’s real offense to the regime, in both cases, has been his ceaseless effort to promote the language and culture of the
600,000 Hungarians living mainly in Slovakia, where they account for more than 11% of the population. He has written extensively and critically about the plight of Czechoslovakia’s largest ethnic minority in numerous samizdat editions and publications in the West.
Holding that “the temples of the mother tongue, the schools, become the first victim” of systematized ethnic oppression, Duray has vigorously protested radical school reforms enacted last March, which contained a clause permitting the curtailment of minority language teaching in schools.* Subsequently, as a result of unusually strong and widespread opposition, reportedly involving thousands of members of the Hungarian community, Slovak held to be mainly responsible for this setback, which is particularly irksome because of persistent nationwide popular concern over the educational reforms in general.
In addition to official vindictiveness, the decision to imprison Duray again may have been motivated by broader domestic and foreign policy considerations. In recent weeks the Husak regime has perceptibly hardened its attitude toward dissidents at home and ideological deviations in the bloc. Demonstrating his recognition that the Hungarian minority’s grievances are an aspect of the violation of human rights throughout Czechoslovakia, last August* Duray joined the Charter 77 group, which is the chief target of brutal persecution. His arrest in the same month that former Charter 7 7 spokesman Ladislav Lis was sentenced to another term In prison after a few scant weeks of ostensible freedom7 seems to confirm that a new crackdown on Charter 77 members is now in progress.
Czechoslovak SB/13 11 July 1984
Finally, the incarceration of Miklos Duray is a clear signal of displeasure to the Hungarian government. Budapest keeps a watchful eye on the treatment of the Hungarian minority in Czechoslovakia arid raises the issue regularly in high-level bilateral consultations. Slovak Prime Minister Peter Colotka vas in Budapest at the end of June at the invitation of Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister Jozsef Marjai. His visit was apparently routine, concerned mainly with matters of economic cooperation; but Duray’s case could well have been on the agenda. The current harsh climate in Prague, however, offers little hope that the Kusak regime will respond as readily as last year to Hungarian intercession on behalf of Miklos Duray or to international appeals from world renowned writers.
1 RFE correspondent’s report (Washington), 27 Jun* 1984. PEN is an acronym standing for “poets, essayists, and novelists,” a group of 6,000 writers worldwide who promote t the freedom of ideas.
2 AP (Vienna), 14 June 1984.
3 VONS Report Mo. 375, dated 25 May 1984; the book by Duray mentioned in the charges could be In a Bind [Kutyaszoríto] (New York: Puski Publishing Company, 1983).
4 SEE Czechoslovak Situation Report/8, Radio Free Europe Research, 4 Hay 1984, item 5.
5 See Hungarian SR/S, Rfer, 8 May 1984, item 7.
6 See Czechoslovak SR/2, Refer, 6 February 1984, item 4.
7 See ibid., no. 9, 11 May 1984, item 2.