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8 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 1 (1973)
Right of a Convicted Citizen to Leave His Country

handle is hein.journals/hcrcl8 and id is 3 raw text is: Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Volume 8, Number 1                                             January, 1973
by Valery Chalidze*
In recent years there has been a growing recognition that
civil rights and civil liberties problems are not peculiar to the
United States and indeed that they are not domestic problems.
The Sharpesville Massacre, the Biafran War, and last year's
events in Bangladesh show that civil rights issues are both
prevalent in every nation and of concern to all nations.
The work of Valery Chalidze's human rights committee in
the US.S.R. has attracted the attention of the Review's Editors
because it exemplifies this international aspect ofcivildrights and
civil liberties. Like American civil rights groups, the Soviet
human rights committee aimed at reforming certain aspects of
Soviet government while acting within the established system
of law. Reform topics included the right to freedom of speech
(secured by  the USSR.'s constitution), and an end to
restrictions on religious and ethnic minorities-all such rights
currently being protected by international declarations and
The Soviet authorities have generally given these reform ers
a hostile response, including legal and extra-legal suppression.
This article takes the reform effort one step further: if
government authorities find a reformer's efforts so dangerous
to established society as to require his exclusion from that
society, should not the reformer be given the option of going
tojail or removing himself absolutely from the society through
emigration?It is against this background that Valery Chalidze's
theory ofa right ofconvictedpersons to emigrate must be tested.
Parallels in the United States abound. Would it be better
for war protestors to have had their day in court before fleeing,
this time legally, to Canada? Should Eldridge Cleaver have
stood trial and thereafter been offered the right to emigrate to
Algeria? The Editors believe that Valery Chalidze's attempt to
find a solution to the problems ofSoviet civil libertarians on this
matter will prompt a serious review of our own policies.
Responses to the thesis are invited.
*Biographical information on Dr. Chalidze, who is currently a resident of the United
States, may be found infra at p. 15. This text embodies the thesis of a report prepared by
the author for the Uppsala conference on the right to leave any country and the right to
return to one's own country. This article vas translated from the Russian by Lowry
Wyman, Master's Degree candidate in the Soviet Union Program at Harvard University.

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