To the Editors:
A few days ago a long overdue process of glasnost began in Romania when six highly distinguished elder statesmen of the Party wrote a letter to Mr. Ceausescu demanding some policy changes. [The letter is published in this issue on page 9]. Ceausescu’s reply was to have Mircea Raceanu, the son of one of the letter writers, arrested on trumped-up charges of espionage. The arrest was followed at once by an obviously orchestrated letter-writing campaign demanding the death penalty for Mr. Raceanu.
Such a response to the slightest criticism of regime policies is a blatant violation of the Helsinki Agreement and the subsequent Vienna Accord on Human Rights. It is a response typical of a Mafia boss but not befitting the head of a state pretending to be civilized. To clear the sullied reputation of his regime Mr. Ceausescu should at once release Mircea Raceanu. Readers can address appeals to him by writing to the Romanian Embassy, 1607 23rd St, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008.
Samuel J. Eldersveld, Professor of Political Science,
Raphael S. Ezekiel, Associate Professor of Psychology,
David A. Hollinger, Professor of History,
Alfred G. Meyer, Professor of Political Science,
Bert G. Hornback, Professor of English,
David G. Shappirio, Professor of Biology,
Roman Szpotluk, Professor of History (All from the University of Michigan)