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Not Guilty

In response to:

Crime of Silence from the October 12, 1967 issue

To the Editors:

In your October 12 issue a letter from Minas Stavvas states that although “our uncensored intellectuals” have protested the imprisonment of Sinyavsky and Daniel in the Soviet Union, they have been silent about the imprisonment of writers in Greece. This is not so. The International PEN Congress that met in Abidjan last month unanimously passed a resolution proposed by the English Centre condemning governmental interference with the liberty of writers: “The Congress calls upon the Greek Government to release the writers Ritsos, Angeli, Demetriou, Frangapoulos and Glezos and many others imprisoned without trial on the islands of Yioura and Folegandros….”

In my article on the Congress, printed in The New York Times Book Review of Sept. 3, 1967, I wrote that “the most important resolution introduced—on writers in prison—was unanimously passed. It was no mere platitude of liberalism. It calls on the Greek Government to release from prison several writers [identified by name] ….” It should be evident to Mr. Savvas that one organization at least—the International PEN—is not guilty of the “Crime of Silence.”

Robert Halsband

President

PEN American Center

New York City

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