To the Editors:
The following letter has been sent to Dr. Gustav Husák, president of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic:
We are outraged to hear of the repeated harassment to which our colleague Dr. Julius Tomín has been subjected in recent weeks. It is shocking that his philosophy seminar has been broken up several times by the police, and that he has been arrested on several occasions, along with colleagues and students.
We wish to protest most energetically against the repeated violation of Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees to everyone “the right to peaceful assembly and association,” and which the Czechoslovak government undertook to respect under the Helsinki agreement. We earnestly hope that the Czechoslovak government will put an end to this brutal and senseless repression of philosophical study and discussion.
The letter is signed by thirty-one American philosophers, including Arthur Danto, Roderick Firth, Harry Frankfurt, Gilbert Harman, David Lewis, Ruth Marcus, Sidney Morgenbesser, Maurice Natanson, Hilary Putnam, W.V. Quine, John Rawls, and Richard Rorty.
A fund has been set up in Oxford to assist Dr. Tomin’s group in its educational efforts as well as with legal expenses and rent for their jail cells between arrest and trial. (The Czech authorities charge for these accommodations.) Anyone wishing to help should send a contribution to the Secretary of the Philosophy Subfaculty, 10 Merton Street, Oxford OX1 4JJ, England.
Department of Philosophy
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
May 29, 1980