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The Conscience of Yugoslavia

To the Editors:

I should like to call to the attention of readers recent judicial proceedings against a Yugoslavian student, Vladimir Mijanović, the President of the Council of Students of the Philosophical Faculty of Belgrade University, who was sentenced to twenty months in prison. The sentencing on October 23 set off a two-week student strike of protest. The case now goes to the Court of Appeals of Serbia. Of particular interest is the fact that one of the charges against the students is that on May 7, 1970, they organized demonstrations and published leaflets condeming the US invasion of Cambodia.

Mr. Mijanović and those associated with him are the hope and the conscience of the Yugoslav revolution. In organizing opposition to the American invasion of Cambodia, they joined in a world-wide effort in support of a principle that extends far beyond the Cambodian invasion: the principle that great powers must be restrained from forceful intervention in the internal affairs of other nations. This principle is particularly important for Yugoslavia itself, a country that lies in the grim shadow of the “Brezhnev Doctrine.” Not only the demands of justice, but also those of practical good sense should impel the Yugoslav leaders to support those forces throughout the world that resist great power intervention.

Noam Chomsky

MIT

Cambridge, Mass.

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