To the International Community:
Dr. Flora Brovina, a pediatrician from Kosovo, was arrested in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, on April 20, 1999, during the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, and sentenced in a Serbian court, on December 9, 1999, to twelve years in prison. She was accused of terrorism, but her only crime was that she was treating Albanian women and children during the war.
Dr. Brovina is a well-known poet and social activist who has always advocated nonviolence. In March 1999 she was one of the organizers of a march for peace in which 20,000 Albanian women participated. She has published four books of poetry while working as a pediatrician in a clinic she established in Pristina.
Every physician, upon receiving a diploma, takes the Hippocratic oath, which states that a doctor has the duty to treat people without regard to their nationality, race, gender, religious denomination, or ideals. Punishment for treating Albanian children—or even wounded soldiers—violates the moral principles that govern all civilized societies. This sentence is a blow not only against Flora Brovina but also against all physicians.
For this reason we strongly protest this course of action and demand that the sentence be immediately revoked, that Dr. Flora Brovina be freed from prison, and that she be exonerated.
P.S. Readers who wish to join in signing this letter and demanding Dr. Brovina’s immediate release can respond by fax or e-mail to the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, New School University, New York. Fax: (212) 229-5794; e-mail: Januszej@newschool.edu.