Appendix B

COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS

A Description

The Committee on Human Rights was created in 1976 in response to concern by members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) about widespread abuses of human rights, particularly those of their scientific colleagues. In 1994, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) joined the NAS as full sponsors of the committee. The committee is composed of members drawn from the membership of the three institutions. The committee has the active support of more than 1,700 members of the NAS, NAE, and IOM, who assist it as “correspondents” in its human rights work by writing appeals in behalf of and letters of encouragement to imprisoned colleagues. The committee is financially supported by the NAS, NAE, and IOM, several private foundations, and contributions from private donors.

The work of the committee is grounded in principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The committee does not support or oppose any government or political system; it does hold governments responsible for conforming to international standards for the protection of human rights and accountable when they do not.

The committee uses the influence and prestige of the institutions it represents in behalf of scientists, engineers, and health professionals anywhere in the world who are unjustly detained or imprisoned for exercising their basic human rights as promulgated by the UDHR. Each case is carefully investigated, using a variety of sources, before being taken up by the committee. Such individuals cannot have been known to use or advocate violence. The committee also intervenes in behalf of non-violent colleagues who are the recipients of death threats, and it works to promote just prosecution in cases of individuals who have been killed for political reasons.

Activities of the committee include private inquiries, appeals to governments, moral support to prisoners and their families, and consciousness-raising efforts such as workshops and symposia. Periodically, it undertakes a mission of inquiry to a country. It issues public statements regarding a case or reports on the human rights situation in a country only when significant private efforts have proved unsuccessful and after the NAS Council and the presidents of the NAE and IOM have approved such action by the committee. The committee also is a catalyst for human rights issues of concern to the members of the academy complex.

The committee serves as the secretariat for the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. The Network, created in 1993, works to address grave



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 20
Report on the Case of Dr. Saad Eddin Mohamed Ibrahim Imprisoned Sociologist Cairo, Egypt Appendix B COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS A Description The Committee on Human Rights was created in 1976 in response to concern by members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) about widespread abuses of human rights, particularly those of their scientific colleagues. In 1994, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) joined the NAS as full sponsors of the committee. The committee is composed of members drawn from the membership of the three institutions. The committee has the active support of more than 1,700 members of the NAS, NAE, and IOM, who assist it as “correspondents” in its human rights work by writing appeals in behalf of and letters of encouragement to imprisoned colleagues. The committee is financially supported by the NAS, NAE, and IOM, several private foundations, and contributions from private donors. The work of the committee is grounded in principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The committee does not support or oppose any government or political system; it does hold governments responsible for conforming to international standards for the protection of human rights and accountable when they do not. The committee uses the influence and prestige of the institutions it represents in behalf of scientists, engineers, and health professionals anywhere in the world who are unjustly detained or imprisoned for exercising their basic human rights as promulgated by the UDHR. Each case is carefully investigated, using a variety of sources, before being taken up by the committee. Such individuals cannot have been known to use or advocate violence. The committee also intervenes in behalf of non-violent colleagues who are the recipients of death threats, and it works to promote just prosecution in cases of individuals who have been killed for political reasons. Activities of the committee include private inquiries, appeals to governments, moral support to prisoners and their families, and consciousness-raising efforts such as workshops and symposia. Periodically, it undertakes a mission of inquiry to a country. It issues public statements regarding a case or reports on the human rights situation in a country only when significant private efforts have proved unsuccessful and after the NAS Council and the presidents of the NAE and IOM have approved such action by the committee. The committee also is a catalyst for human rights issues of concern to the members of the academy complex. The committee serves as the secretariat for the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. The Network, created in 1993, works to address grave

OCR for page 20
Report on the Case of Dr. Saad Eddin Mohamed Ibrahim Imprisoned Sociologist Cairo, Egypt issues of science and human rights, particularly the unjust detention or imprisonment of colleagues, throughout the world. Currently, science academies and scholarly societies in some 50 countries are affiliated with the Network; each is represented by internationally prominent members who are also human rights advocates. The members of the Network 's Executive Committee are: François Jacob, France; Max Perutz, United Kingdom; John Polanyi, Canada; Pieter van Dijk, the Netherlands; Edoardo Vesentini, Italy; and Torsten Wiesel, the United States of America. The CHR's members for 2001 and its current staff are listed below: TORSTEN WIESEL , Chair Rockefeller University, New York, New York MARY ELLEN AVERY Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts MINA J. BISSELL Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California GEORGE BUGLIARELLO Office of the Chancellor, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York ROBERT CURL Rice University, Houston, Texas FELTON EARLS Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts SARA B. HRDY Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis EUGENIA KALNAY Department of Meteorology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland MORTON PANISH AT&T Bell Laboratories (retired), Springfield, New Jersey ROBERT PRITZKER The Marmon Group, Inc., Chicago, Illinois

OCR for page 20
Report on the Case of Dr. Saad Eddin Mohamed Ibrahim Imprisoned Sociologist Cairo, Egypt KATEPALLI R. SREENIVASAN Mason Laboratory, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut LUBERT STRYER Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California CHARLES TOWNES Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, California SALIH J. WAKIL Department of Biochemistry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas MARY JANE WEST -EBERHARD Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, University of Costa Rica, Ciudad Universitaria, Costa Rica CAROL CORILLON , Director PATRICIA EVERS , Program Officer JAMES BANIHASHEMI , Program Associate