Czechoslovakia: An End to All That Jazz

An End to All That Jazz

The Soviet Union may have ushered in its era of openness, but Czechoslovakia's Communist authorities seem bent on proving that it is not contagious. In Prague five leaders of the independent cultural organization known as the Jazz Section were convicted last week of illegally continuing to distribute music, newsletters and art books.

To the sound of rhythmic clapping by more than 150 protesters outside the courtroom, Chief Judge Vladimir Stiborik sentenced Karel Srp, 50, the Jazz Section head, to 16 months in prison and Secretary Vladimir Kouril to ten months. The other three drew suspended sentences. Noting the relative leniency, a...