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Preface The symposium on which this publication is based took place on April 27, 1987, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The publication of this book allows us, the members of the Na- tional Academy of Sciences, to honor and to celebrate the freedom of three outstanding men who are scientists and human rights activists and have experienced repression first hand. It also marks, in a formal and official manner, the importance, endurance, and success of the work of our Committee on Human Rights. The Committee on Human Rights was created by the National Academy of Sciences in 1976 in response to increased concern by academy members about repression, in many areas of the world, of scientific colleagues, like those honored at our symposium. Sum sequently, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) asked to participate in the committee's work. Two representatives from the NAE and two from the TOM are included on the 13-member committee. The committee works in behalf of scientific colleagues, anywhere in the world, who are believed to be suffering severe repression for the nonviolent exercise of their human rights. These colleagues may be in detention, believed to be in danger of torture, held without charges or access to a lawyer, or imprisoned; they may have "disappeared" or been banished to internal exile. Because we fee] a special sense of responsibility toward our col- leagues and because of lirn~ted staff and funds, the committee works X1

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only in behalf of scientists, engineers, and health professionals. It is our hope, however, that our actions will also benefit other victims of repression whose cases fall outside our mandate. The committee currently has cases in about 26 countries. We only undertake cases of colleagues who have not used or ad- vocated violence. Our appeals are based on the international human rights standards embodied in the United Nations Universal Decla- ration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. We appeal for an end to torture, for the right to a fair trial and legal representation, for adequate medical care and prison conditions, and for the release of those imprisoned or internally exiled for the nonviolent expression of their beliefs. During the comrruttee's first few years of operation, it under- took some 20 cases in about a dozen countries. Three hundred and fifty members of the academy accepted the comrn~ttee's invitation to actively support its work by becoming "correspondents." These cor- respondents respond to requests from the committee that are made through a CHR newsletter, written for the correspondents, or a letter sent to request that urgent action be taken. These communications urge that respectful letters of inquiry or appeal be written, in be- half of imprisoned scientific colleagues, to the governments involved. Copies of such letters are often sent to the U.S. Department of State and to members of Congress. Occasionally the correspondents make telephone calls, send telegrams, and appeal in person during a visit to a country in which a colleague ~ imprisoned. Letters of support are sometimes written to the prisoners and their families and scientific literature is sent. These approaches are often effective. Of the more than 300 cases in 45 countries that have been undertaken by the committee to date, more than 200 cases have been successfully resolved. Many of the prisoners and their families have written to the committee to express their appreciation for our efforts in their behalf. Just as the committee's caseload has increased over the years, the number of correspondents who help it with these cases has also grown. The number of academy members who now actively assist the committee is more than 865, approximately 100 of whom are foreign associates. In addition, the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering have supported the committee's request to their members to participate in the comm~ttee's work, bringing the number up to 1,200 correspondents in all. . X11

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In addition to its private efforts, occasionally the committee decides that a public statement should be made in behalf of an individual or that a delegation should visit a country to obtain more information and to express more directly the committee's concerns. Over the years, the committee has made public statements in behalf of 42 prisoners from 11 countries; 21 are now free, some because they finished serving their sentences. Missions of inquiry have been undertaken to Argentina and Uruguay in 197B, to Chile in 1985, and to Somalia ~ 1987. In recent years the committee has invited several people to speak on human rights issues at an informal gathering of the committee's correspondents at the time of the NAS annual meeting. And in April 1987, the committee presented the symposium on science and human rights to the entire academy membership, their guests, and the public. We tried to present the audience with a variety of issues relating to science and human rights that have come to the attention of the committee in the course of its work. The views presented by the speakers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the committee or the academy. The three speakers at the symposium are all individuals whose cases were undertaken by the committee when they were imprisoned. They taught us by their presentations and by their example while imprisoned about people's strength, and integrity, and courage of convictions when struggling for a just cause. They also reminded us of how necessary our work is to the prisoners, and their fannies, in obtaining their release. We hope that this publication will inspire those who read it, as the symposium on science and human rights inspired those who attended it, to speak out against abuses of human rights whenever and wherever they occur. Eliot Stellar, Chair Committee on Human Rights - ~ x~n

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