A nemzetközi PEN Klub amerikai tagozatának negyedévi tájékoztatója levélírási kampányra szólította fel tagjait Duray Miklós kiszabadítása érdekében.
New York, 1984. nyár
PEN Freedom to Write Report
Czechoslovakia: Miklos Duray
Miklós Duray, a 39 year old writer, geologist and advocate of Hungarian minority rights in Czechoslovakia, was arrested in the southwestern Slovakian capital city of Bratislava (Pozsony) on May 10, 1984 on political charges. Since the arrest, Duray has been held in total isolation. Permission to visit him has been denied to his wife and his lawyer, the latter in contravention of Czechoslovak law.
According 10 reports from dissident sources in Czechoslovakia and Hungary, Duray has been charged under Sections 112 and 199 of the Czechoslovak Penal Code with „damaging the interests of the Republic abroad” and „spreading alarming news which is false,” laws which are usually applied against political dissidents. If found guilty of the infractions, he will be subject lo imprisonment of 3 years and 6 months, respectively. Under Czechoslovak rules of criminal procedure, his trial is lo commence on July 10, two months from the date of his arrest.
During the three months prior to his arrest, Duray led an unprecedented and successful campaign, with petitions signed by more than 10,000 citizens, against passage of a law which could have resulted in the elimination of all minority-language schools and classes serving Czechoslovakia’s Hungarian inhabitants, unofficially estimated to number one million.
Miklós Duray was active as a student during the 1968 „Prague Spring,” and afterwards he played a prominent role in many areas of Hungarian intellectual life in Czechoslovakia. He was one of the founders in 1978 of the Committee for the Defense of the Rights of the Hungarian Minority in Czechoslovakia, In this capacity, he authored numerous studies and reports documenting official measures which deprive Hungarians of human rights in present-day Czechoslovakia.
In 1982 the Committee’s detailed report on the legal, economic, educational, religious, and political life of the Hungarian minority was published in Ihe Hungarian language in Paris. In 1983 two of Duray’s ‘ works appeared in the United States: an autobiographical account entitled Kutyaszorító (Choke Collar) (New York: Puski Press) and a collection of literary essays (Chicago: Framo Publishing).
Duray was previously imprisoned for his writings on November 10, 1982 and released on February 24, 1983 only as a result of an international protest campaign in Europe and the United States on his behalf. Among those who publicly demanded that the Czechoslovak government fulfill the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act m its treatment of Duray and the Hungarian minority were several United States government and Congressional figures and the writers Irving Howe, Susan Sontag and Kurt Vonnegut (in an „Open Letter to György Lázár, Prime Minister of the Hungarian People’s Republic,” later published in The New York Review of Books, March 31. 1983).
Duray is a member of Charter 77, (he Czechoslovak human rights monitoring and reporting organization, which also issued an appeal on his behalf at the time of his prior imprisonment and trial.
Letters should be written to the Procurator General (Attorney General) of Czechoslovakia expressing concern that the incarceration and prosecution of Miklós Duray constitute a violation of his right to freedom of expression, and urging that all charges against him be dropped and that he be unconditionally released from detention. The letters should also request details concerning Duray’s present legal status, his place of detention and whether his defense lawyer has been allowed access to him.
The letters should be addressed to: Judr Jan Fejes, Procurator General of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Nam Hrdinu 1 300, Praha 4 – Nusle, Czechoslovakia, with copies mailed to: Judr Martin Kovac, Procurator of the Slovak Socialist Republic, Kam-menne Nam., Blok A 881 37, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia; and The Embassy of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, 3900 Linnean Ave. NW, Washinglon, D.C. 20008.
Hungarian Human Rights Foundation