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Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021 (2022)

Chapter:Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021

Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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Suggested Citation:"Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Committee on Human Rights: Year in Review 2021. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26577.
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COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Copyright 2022 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE COMMITTEE The Committee on Human Rights (CHR), created by members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1976, is a standing membership committee of the NAS, National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The CHR is composed of 12 members drawn from the three Academies and appointed by the Academies’ presidents, including the international secretaries of the NAS, NAE, and NAM who serve as ex officio members.   The Committee advocates in support of scientists, engineers, and health professionals subjected to serious human rights abuses worldwide, including in the United States, with a focus on individuals targeted for their professional activities and/or for having exercised the universally protected right to freedom of expression, which provides a crucial foundation for scientific research and progress. CHR cases involve long-term arbitrary detention, gross violations of the right to fair trial, withdrawal of citizenship without due process, torture, and disappearance, among other serious violations of international human rights law. Alongside the CHR’s advocacy, the Committee provides assistance to professional colleagues under threat by linking them to the wider international scientific community and to organizations that provide pro bono legal support and other services.   CHR members, and other members of the Academies, play a distinctive and influential advocacy role as globally respected individuals expressing solidarity with colleagues under threat. Nearly 1,500 members of the three Academies are CHR Correspondents, many of whom regularly take action on urgent human rights cases.   The CHR also raises awareness concerning the links between science, technology, health, and human rights, including through symposia, workshops, and briefings for Academy members. The CHR serves as the Secretariat of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN), which brings together more than 90 academies and scholarly societies to address shared science and 3 human rights concerns.

OUR MEMBERS S eve ra l ch a nge s to th e CH R's m em b er sh ip to ok e ffe ct in N ov em be r an d D ece m b er 2 02 1. Th e C HR th an ks C hri sti ne Ca ss el, M ike C le gg, Jo h n K as sa kia n, M ich a el K at z, An t hon y Le gg et t, E lain e O ran, E lsa Re ic hm an is, a nd Vi ce-C ha ir M ar y Ja ne W es t-E be rh ar d for t hei r d ed ica ted se rv ice to th e CH R. Th e C HR a ls o w el co me d n ew m em b er s W e sle y H ar ri s, A nd rea Li u, D oug la s M ass ey, an d D eb N ie me ie r. In Se p tem b er 2 021, D r. M ich el e H eis ler, m ed ic al d irec to r at P hy sici an s fo r H um a n R ig ht s an d a p rof ess or of in te rna l m ed ici ne a nd o f p ub li c h ea lth a t th e U ni ver si t y of M ic hi ga n, jo in ed th e Co m m itt ee as an in de pe nd en t a dv iso r. D r. H eis ler h as a lon g hi st or y of g rou nd b rea kin g w or k at th e in te rse cti on o f h ea lth a nd h um a n rig h ts, a nd he r ex p er ti se h as al re ady p rov en to b e an in va lua bl e re so ur ce to C HR m em b er s a nd s taf f as we wo rk t o ad d res s p res sin g h eal th an d h um an ri gh ts is su es. Martin Chalfie, Chair John Hildebrand Columbia University NAS International Secretary Chris Beyrer Andrea Liu Johns Hopkins University University of Pennsylvania John Carlson Douglas Massey Yale University Princeton University Giselle Corbie-Smith Deb Niemeier University of North Carolina University of Maryland School of Medicine James M. Tien Carlos del Rio NAE International Secretary NAM International Secretary Health & Human Rights Advisor Vanessa Northington Gamble Michele Heisler The George Washington University of Michigan University Wesley Harris Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR The past year has been marked by countless human rights challenges affecting science, engineering, and medicine, from the forced displacement of Afghan and other scholars to the continuing abuse of researchers working to address dangers to public health and welfare. These challenges underscore both the need to support at-risk colleagues and the vital role that scientists, engineers, and health professionals often play in protecting and promoting human rights. This year’s Annual Report provides an overview of the CHR’s recent efforts to assist colleagues under threat and to raise awareness of pressing issues at the intersection of science, engineering, and medicine, including in our role as Secretariat of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies—an international consortium of honorary scientific societies with a shared interest in human rights. The CHR is grateful for the overwhelming support that we receive from the Academies’ leadership, the nearly 1,500 Academy members who actively support our work as CHR Correspondents, and the more than 90 national academies participating in the IHRN. We look forward to continuing our work together in support of human rights in 2022. -MARTIN CHALFIE CHR CHAIR (NAS/NAM) 5

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY During 2021, the CHR followed cases involving 113 colleagues suffering serious human rights abuses in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, advocating as needed. Many of these individuals were targeted as a result of their research or their efforts to promote scientific integrity and protect public health. Throughout the year, the CHR continued to advocate in support of numerous colleagues who have been harassed and imprisoned for speaking out about health and safety concerns related to the pandemic. We saw significant positive developments in the situations of many colleagues, ranging from the acquittal of a food engineer who publicized dangers to public health to a displaced scientist who obtained safe passage to the United States. The Committee continued its collaboration with Case Western Reserve University School of Law, which provides students with an opportunity to conduct research and advocacy in support of threatened scholars through the application of human rights law. In 2021, Case Western students prepared substantial case briefs concerning two unjustly imprisoned colleagues for submission to UN human rights complaint mechanisms and relevant U.S. Congressional bodies. Throughout the year, the CHR worked to connect at-risk colleagues, and their families, with organizations that provide pro bono legal support, academic placements, and other types of assistance. To enhance this effort, the CHR staff began participating in a new initiative, led by a group of international scientific bodies, to help displaced scientists preserve their professional skills and facilitate their integration into host countries. Since Kabul's fall to Taliban forces in August 2021, the CHR has worked to assist threatened Afghan scientists and scholars by connecting them with trusted legal and other support service providers. 6

Executive Summary As part of the CHR’s efforts to raise public awareness about human rights issues with a connection to science, engineering, and medicine, the Committee organized activities in connection with the Nobel Prize Summit, held in April 2021. This event, hosted by the Nobel Foundation and organized in part by the National Academy of Sciences, brought together Nobel Prize laureates, scientists, policy makers, business leaders, and youth leaders to explore solutions to some of humanity’s greatest challenges. In connection with the Summit, the CHR hosted a virtual discussion examining the role of digital disinformation and media manipulation in entrenching societal inequalities, driving polarization, and eroding public trust. To celebrate some of the many significant contributions Nobel laureates have made in support of human rights worldwide, the CHR also produced a portrait exhibit in connection with the Summit, which can be found and explored virtually on the CHR website. Other CHR events held in 2021 include a webinar to discuss the Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations, launched to standardize the use and analysis of online content for research, reporting, and investigations; a virtual event addressing attacks on health care in conflict settings; and an online discussion with CHR member Dr. Michael Katz and international lawyer Philippe Sands concerning persecution of the scientific and scholarly communities and ways of responding effectively to such persecution. The CHR serves as the Secretariat of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN), a consortium of honorary societies in the sciences, engineering, and medicine that defends the fundamental rights of colleagues worldwide and supports scholarly and health care institutions that come under attack. During 2021, the IHRN’s Executive Committee— composed of academy representatives from 11 countries—spoke out against attacks against health facilities and universities in Myanmar, as well as the harassment and intimidation of colleagues in Nicaragua and Mexico. These statements formed the basis for international advocacy efforts by academies participating in the IHRN. 7

ADVOCACY In 2021 the CHR followed 113 cases i n v o l v i n g c o l l e a g u e s i n t h e M i d d l e E a s t a n d North Africa, Europe and Eurasia, t h e A s i a - P a c i f i c r e g i o n , a n d t h e A m e r i c a s . Of t hese colleagues, 59% were scienti s t s , 1 3 % w e r e e n g i n e e r s , a n d 2 8 % w e r e h e a l t h professional s. Case Statistics Europe & 31 Eurasia Middle-East North Africa 36 Asia-Pacific 9 Americas 37 8

Student Supported International Human Rights Advocacy S i n c e S e p t e m be r 2 0 16, t h e C H R ha s col lab o ra ted w i th C as e W es t er n R es erv e U n iv er sit y' s S c h o o l o f L a w t o pr o v i d e l aw s t u d e nt s a n op p or tu ni ty to c on d u ct r e s e a r c h a n d a d v oc a c y i n s u p p o r t o f t hr ea t en e d sc i en t i s t s , e ng in ee r s , a nd h ea lt h p r of es si o na ls th r o u gh t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f h u ma n r i g ht s l aw . A s pa r t o f t h is mu l ti -y ea r c o lla b or at i o n, la w s t ud en ts h a v e a s s i s t e d t h e C H R w i t h n u me r ou s ca s e s i n v olv in g s ch ola r s a n d h ea lt h wo r ker s w h o h a v e c o m e u n de r a t t a c k as a r e s u l t of th ei r e x e r c i s e o f i n te r n a ti o na lly p r o te c t ed r i gh t s. I n 2 0 2 1 , s t u de n t s su p p o r t e d t h e C H R i n i ts ef for ts to a d vo ca te f o r de ta i n ed an d d i s a p p e a r e d s ch o l ar s fr o m t h e X i n j ia n g U y g h ur A ut on om ou s Re gi on ( XU A R) , a n a r ea in n o r t h w e s t e rn C h i n a t h at i s ho m e t o m os t o f th e l a rg el y M u s li m U y gh u r p eo p le. Fo r s e v e r a l y e a r s , h u ma n ri g h t s e x p e rt s a n d g ov er n me n ts i n nu m e r ou s c ou n tr i es h a v e c o n d e m n e d t he b r u t al c rac k d o w n o n U y g hu r s a n d ot h er m in or i ty M us li m p eo pl es in t h e X i n j i a n g r e gi o n . M a n y U y g h u r sc ho l a r s h a v e b e en s p ec i f i ca ll y ta r g et ed an d su bj ec t ed t o r i g h t s a b u s e d u e t o su sp i ci o n s t h at t he y a r e h a r b o r i ng "p ol i ti ca lly i nc o r r ec t" i de a s. In c o n s u l t a t i o n wi t h t h e C HR , C as e We s t er n la w s tu d en ts pr ep ar ed s u b s t a n ti al l eg a l c ase b r i e f s c o n c e r n i ng t wo u n j u st l y i m pr is o n ed U y g hu r col lea gu e s f or su b mis s io n t o U N h um a n r ig h t s co mp l a i n t m ec ha n i s m s a n d rele v an t U .S . C on g r es s ion al b od ies . 9

Advocacy M a n y c a s e s on which the CHR works involve scientific colleagues who have spoken out o n m a t t e r s related to public health and environmental protection, at signifi cant p e r s o n a l a n d professional cost. One such individual is Bülent Şık, a respected Turkish s c i e n t i f i c r esearcher in the field of food safety and security who was targeted for r e v e a l i n g u ndisclosed results of a government cancer study. From 201 1 to 2015, Dr. Şık t o o k p a r t i n a Turkish Ministry of Health study that assessed the health impact of e n v i r o n m e n tal factors in several industrialized areas experiencing above-average rates o f c a n c e r i n the population. In April 2018 he wrote a series of articles, published in the T u r k i s h n e wspaper Cumhuriyet, alleging that the Ministry of Health had with held f i n d i n g s f r o m a study that revealed high levels of carcinogenic chemical residues in f o o d a n d d r inking water sources in several cities. In response to a criminal complaint r e p o r t e d l y f iled by the Ministry of Health shortly after the articles were published, Dr. Ş ı k w a s b r o ught to trial in Istanbul in early 2019. Later that year, he was convicted and s e n t e n c e d t o 15 months in prison, but was allowed to remain free pending his appeal. In M a y 2 0 2 1 Dr. Şık’s conviction and pr ison sentence—for revealing the results of a Ministry o f H e a l t h c ancer study—were overturned on appeal. The appeals court reportedly noted i n i t s r u l i n g that the Ministry of Health is required to make the results of its scientific s t u d i e s p u b lic once they have been completed. T h e I s t a n b ul Regional Court of Justice Public Prosecutor subsequently appealed Dr. Ş ı k ’ s a c q u i t tal to the country’s highest appeals court. His lawyers have told him that the r e v i e w o f h i s case could take several years. In the meantime, he has told the CHR, “I will c o n t i n u e t o tell the truth to the public.” I felt that this was my scientific responsibility to explain those results and share [them] with the public. Ş 10

As part of its efforts to address widespread governmental targeting of the Turkish academic community in recent years, the CHR has advocated in support of Turkish physicist Ali Basa ran. After finishing his Ph.D. in experimental physics at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Basaran returned to Turkey in 2015 to contribute to science in his home country, accepting a research position at Gebze Techni cal University. Following the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016, Dr. Basaran was among tens of thousands of individuals summarily dismissed from public work by emergency decree—without access to any form of due process—for alleged ties to the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gü len. (President Recep. Tayyip Erdo ğan accused to carry out the attempted coup ac c u s e d G ü l e n, a U.S. resident, of ordering his followers in T u rk e y a n d branded his movement a terrorist organization.) Dr. Basaran's passport w a s c a n c e l e d. In J u l y 2 0 1 8 , Dr. Basaran received official notification that a government investigation ag a i n s t h i m had been dropped due to lack of evidence, and authorities returned his p a s s p o r t i n 2020. Finally, in late 2021—Dr. Basaran received a telephone call from a St a t e E m e r g ency commission informing him that his dismissal had been wrongful and th a t h e h a d been reinstated in a university position in Turkey. Currently, Dr. Basaran is in a o n e - y e a r r e search position at the University of California, San Diego. Fr o m 2 0 1 9 t o 2021, Dr. Basaran was a fellow in the Distance Fellows Program for at-risk sc h o l a r s c r e a ted in 2019 by the CHR in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. 11

Advocacy Assistance for Egyptian Doctors Combatting COVID-19 Over the past two years, the CHR has worked to address new rights-related challenges arising in connection with the pandemic and has advocated in support of public health professionals in many regions of the world who have been targeted for their efforts to combat COVID-19. In that connection, the CHR has advocated in support of a number of Egyptian medical doctors detained for having expressed health and safety concerns related to the pandemic. Following their arrests in mid-2020, the doctors were subjected to enforced disappearance for up to two weeks before facing charges related to terrorism, misuse of social media, and spreading false information. They saw their detention orders renewed several times, some in proceedings where neither they nor their lawyers were allowed to be present. During the days before they were taken into custody, each of the medical doctors had raised safety concerns and spoken out critically about the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including lack of adequate personal protective equipment, insufficient infection control measures and training, limited COVID-19 screening of health care workers and patients, and lack of access to necessary health care and medical supplies. During spring 2021, five of these medical doctors were released from detention although, to the best of our knowledge, the charges brought against them have not been formally withdrawn. 12

Mexican Scientific Colleagues Subjected to Legal Harassment In O c t o b e r 2 02 1, t he I n t e r n at i o n a l S e cr e ta r i es o f th e N a t i o n a l A c ad em i e s o f S ci e n c e s , E ng i n ee r i ng , a n d M e d i c i n e —a ll e x o ff i c i o m em b er s o f th e C H R— i s s u ed a letter p u b li c l y to h i g h- l ev e l M e xi ca n off i ci a ls , e x p r e s s i n g c o n c e r n a b o u t t h e si t u a ti on of 31 M e xi c an s c i e n t i s t s a nd sci en c e a d m i ni st r at o rs w h o ha v e be en ac c u s e d b y M e xi co ’ s A t t o rn e y Ge n e r a l o f s ev er a l s e r i o u s fin a n c i a l c r i m e s. The se ac cu s a t i o n s ca r r y t he p os si b i lit y o f d e c a d e s - lo n g p ri s o n s e n t en c e s a n d a pp e a r to b e p a r t o f a b r o a d e r po l i t i c a l a t t ac k o n t h e M e x ic a n s ci en ti f i c c o m m un i t y . T h e A t t o rn e y G e n er a l fi led w a r r a n t s tw i c e fo r t h e i r a r r e st an d d e t e n t i o n i n a f ed er al m a x im u m - s e c u r i t y p r i s on . Ac co r d i n g t o r e l i a bl e r ep or ts , i n b o th in s t a n c e s a fed e r a l j u d g e r e j ec t e d t he f i li n g , ci ti n g a l a c k o f c r e d i bl e e v i d en c e , a n d d e e m ed r e q ue s t s f or th e d e f e n d a n t s ’ de t e n t i o n i n a m ax i m u m -s ec u r it y f a c i lit y t o b e i n a p p r o p r i at e . F o l lo w i n g t he s e re j e c t i o n s, t h e A t tor n ey G e n era l an n o u n c e d hi s i n t e n t i o n t o se ek t h ei r a r r e s t ye t a g a i n. T h e c a s e s c o nt i n u e t o b e u n d e r i n v e s t ig a t ion . M o r eo v e r , m a n y o f t h e in d i v i du al s i n v o l v ed ha ve n ot r ec ei v e d t h e i r fu l l in v e s t i g a t o ry fi l e s, ma k i n g i t d i ff i c ul t f o r th em t o d e f e n d t h e ms el v e s a g a i n s t t he al l eg a tio ns t h e y f a c e. In th e i r l e t t e r , t he N at i o n al A c a de m i e s’ I n te r n a t i on a l Se c r e t a r i e s n o t e d t ha t r e pe at e d a t t e m pt s to a r r es t a nd detain these individuals wi t ho u t e v i de nc e is in c o n s i s t e n t w i t h M ex i c o ’ s b i n d i n g o b lig at ion un d er in t e r n a t i o n a l h um an r i g h t s l aw t o u p ho ld th e r ig ht t o due process. In addition to the disturbing human rights aspects of their situation, we are worried that the actions against our colleagues may have a chilling effect on the broader Mexican scientific community, as well as potential negative implications for international scientific collaboration. INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIES OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE 13

Advocacy Pursing Equal Justice Under Law in the United States In 2021, the CHR continued to advocate in response to a series of disturbing criminal proceedings brought against scientists and scholars of Asian descent in the United States. Cases investigated and prosecuted under the U.S. Department of Justice's China Initiative —created in 2018 to counter economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in the United States—have, over time, increasingly focused on research integrity-related allegations, including allegations of failure to fully disclose all Chinese affiliations and sources of income. In numerous cases during the past several years, U.S. prosecutors have instituted criminal proceedings against researchers of Asian heritage only to see these cases collapse once the facts have emerged. The frequent characterization of the academics involved as “disloyal” individuals working against the interests of the United States—even in cases with no clear link to national security—has fueled widespread concern within the U.S. research community that prosecutors are rushing to judgment about individuals based on their ancestry, in violation of the most fundamental principles of human rights. Many China Initiative cases have garnered significant international attention, including that of Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering professor Dr. Gang Chen. Professor Chen was indicted and arrested in January 2021 based on his alleged omission of certain China-related affiliations during an application for a U.S. Department of Energy grant, in a case that reflects prosecutorial confusion about how research is conducted and funded. Following his arrest, more than 200 of his MIT faculty colleagues signed an open letter challenging the notion that he sought to hide his ties to China, noting that his “scientific collaborations and broader connections to China are a matter of extensive disclosure and public record.” The letter’s signatories highlighted several aspects of the published criminal complaint against Professor Chen that they considered “deeply flawed and misleading”. (While the present report was being prepared, in January 2022, prosecutors dropped all charges against Dr. Chen, acknowledging that he did not unlawfully conceal information from the U.S. Government). The CHR, along with other members of the scientific and human rights community, has called for a full, independent investigation into profiling and targeting by the U.S. government, with accountability for demonstrated abuses, to ensure that ongoing and future efforts to protect national security are consistent with human rights standards, including the right to equality under the law. 07 14

THE CHR at a Glance The infographics below provide a professional and regional breakdown of the CHR's current* and resolved cases. Click on the images below  to view enlarged infographics. *as of December 2021 15

ASSISTANCE Providing assistance to colleagues suffering human rights abuse is a key part of the Committee’s mandate. Alongside its advocacy, the CHR connects colleagues under threat, and their families, with organizations that provide pro bono legal support, academic placements, and other types of assistance. It also offers resources on confronting human rights abuse. Science in Exile As part of its assistance efforts, the CHR has joined a new international initiative, Science in Exile (SiE), that seeks to build a cohesive and coordinated effort to assist at-risk, refugee, and displaced scientists in preserving their professional skills and facilitating their integration into host countries. Led by the International Science Council, the InterAcademy Partnership, and The World Academy of Sciences, SiE brings together at-risk, displaced, and refugee scientists, as well as relevant stakeholders—including science academies, international and governmental organizations, universities, NGOs, and diaspora groups—“to strengthen systems that support, protect, and integrate such affected scientists.” Recent efforts include creation of PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowships for at-risk scholars organized by UNESCO-TWAS and COMSTECH; a podcast series that features interviews with refugee and displaced scientists who share their scientific interests, their stories of displacement, and their hopes for the future; a webinar series on the displacement cycle; and a webpage of resources, opportunities, organizations, and programs for at-risk, displaced, and refugee scientists. The CHR's e-guide, Confronting Human Rights Abuse, provides information on resources useful for supporting scientists, engineers, and health professionals under threat. 16

Thank you for not letting me and my family [be] alone in this...I hope one day I would have the strength and the possibility to follow your path and pass on the legacy. 17

Assistance Afghan Colleagues F o l l o w i n g the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the CHR has b e e n i n c lose contact with several scholars seeking academic placement o p p o r t u n i t i es in safety. Many of these individuals are facing particular danger a s a r e s u l t of their international connections and, in some cases, their public a d v o c a c y f or human rights, including women's human rights. T h e C o m mittee has connected several at-risk Afghan colleagues with o r g a n i z a t i o ns that arrange emergency funding, academic placements, pro bono l e g a l s e r v i c es, and provide other needed services. We have begun to see positive d e v e l o p m e nts in many of these cases. For instance: A p o l i t i c al scientist has relocated to the United States, along with her family, a n d w i l l take up a university position in early 2022 A b i o l o gist has received emergency funding for living expenses while f i n i s h i n g her MS in a third country, as well as a preliminary offer for a fully- f u n d e d PhD program at a university in Asia S e v e r a l graduate and post-doctorate researchers have been awarded f e l l o w s h ips in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany 18

AWARENESS RAISING The CHR raises awareness of pressing global challenges at the intersection of human rights and science, engineering, and technology and examines ways of addressing those challenges. Committee members and staff host and participate in an array of events for this purpose, including lectures at Academy meetings, congressional briefings, webinars, and symposia. Below are highlights from CHR's awareness raising activities in 2021. Advancing Justice with Digital Evidence: The Berkeley Protocol Recent years have brought attention to the use of digital open source research methodologies for strengthening fact-finding related to world events—ranging from violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar to attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Recognizing the need to standardize the use and analysis of online content internationally for research, reporting, and investigations, the Human Rights Center (University of California, Berkeley School of Law) and the United Nations Human Rights Office launched the Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations. During a virtual panel, hosted by the CHR in May 2021, panelists discussed the protocol's contents, its drafting process, and the ethical and logistical challenges and opportunities that underlie this rapidly- expanding field of practice. 19

Awareness Raising Online Disinformation and Human Rights In April 20 2 1 , t h e C H R h o s t e d a virtual discussion examining the role of digital dis i n f o r m a t i o n a n d m edia manipulation in entrenching societal inequalitie s , d r i v i n g p o l a r i zation, and eroding public trust. The speakers, i n c l u d i n g S a m G r e gory (Program Director, WITNESS), Safiya Noble (Co - F o u n d e r a n d C o - Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet I n q u i r y ) , a n d K a t e Starbird (Associate Professor, Human Centered D e s i g n & E n g i n e e r ing, University of Washington), discussed possible h u m a n r i g h t s - b a s e d approaches to countering disinformation online. Wa t c h a r e c o r d i n g o f the event. The event w a s h e l d a s p a r t o f the 2021 Nobel Prize Summit. This Summit brought t o g e t h e r N o b e l P r ize laureates, scientists, policy makers, business l e a d e r s , a n d y o u t h leaders to explore solutions to some of humanity’s g r e a t e s t c h a l l e n ges: climate change and biodiversity l oss, increasing i n e q u a l i t y , a n d technological innovation in support of societal g o a l s . T h e e v e n t w as hosted by the Nobel Foundation and organized b y t h e N a t i o n a l A c ademy of Sciences in partnership with the Potsdam I n s t i t u t e f o r C l i m ate Impact Research and the Stockholm Resilience C e n t r e / B e i j e r I n s t i tute. 20

ADVANCING RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS: Science, Human Dignity, and the Nobel Prize Many scientists awarded the Nobel Prize have, in their personal and professional lives, made significant contributions to the realization of human rights. An exhibition, coinciding with the Nobel Prize Summit and presented by the CHR in cooperation with Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences, celebrates those contributions. Featuring portraits of selected Laureates and brief abstracts chronicling their human rights achievements, the exhibit honors Laureates in the sciences, together with members of the scientific community who have received the Nobel Peace Prize. The activities highlighted in this exhibit, which range from Denis Mukwege’s work to provide medical care for survivors of sexual violence to Yuan T. Lee’s efforts to call attention to the human rights implications of climate change, demonstrate the profound and enduring connections between science and human rights and the important role for science in advancing human dignity worldwide. The exhibit can be explored virtually in an online gallery and exhibit booklet. 21

What is Driving Violence against Health Care in War? In October 2021, the CHR hosted a conversation between Leonard Rubenstein (Professor of the Practice, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and author of Perilous M edicine: The Struggle to Protect Health Care from the Violence of War), Robert Lawrence (Center for a Livable Future Professor Emeritus, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health), and Joanne Liu (Professor at the School of Populat ion and Global Health, McGill University and former International President, Médecins Sans Frontières) concerning attacks on health workers, patients, and hospitals in conflict settings around the world. The panelists also discussed urgent actions that need to be taken to help ensure safe access to and delivery of health care. Watch a recording of the event. Human Rights-Based Responses to the Persecution of Scientists and Scholars F o r n e a r l y half a century, the CHR has worked to support colleagues who have b e e n s u b j e cted to unfair trials, imprisonment, torture, and other forms of ill- t r e a t m e n t for their professional work or for speaking out on sensitive issues w i t h i n t h e i r societies. M i c h a e l K atz, professor of pediatrics and former member of the CHR, and P h i l i p p e S a nds, legal scholar and author, held a virtual discussion to reflect on h i s t o r i c a l a ttacks against members of the scientific and academic community, i n c l u d i n g d uring World War II. W i t h j o u r n alist and professor Mia Swart serving as moderator, they examined h o w h u m a n rights standards that emerged in response to atrocities du ring W W I I c a n be applied when scie ntists, scholars, and academic freedom come u n d e r a t t a ck. They also considered ways in which the scientific community can h e l p p r o m ote and protect the rig hts of colleagues. W a t c h a v i deo recording of their discussion. 22

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK of Academies and Scholarly Societies The CHR serves as the Secretariat of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN), an international consortium of honorary societies in the sciences, engineering, and medicine with a shared interest in human rights. The IHRN was founded in 1993 to alert national academies to human rights abuses involving fellow scientists and scholars and to equip academies with the tools to provide support in such cases. Today the IHRN advocates in support of professional colleagues suffering human rights abuses, promotes the free exchange of ideas and opinions among scientists and scholars, and supports the independence and autonomy of national academies and scholarly societies worldwide. In 2021, the IHRN continued to expand its digital repository to provide a platform for national academies around the world to share information about the human rights aspects of their programs and activities on COVID-19. The repository currently hosts more than 50 informational products from more than a dozen academies – including recorded interviews, webinars, podcasts, articles, and reports – which highlight human rights-based approaches to public health emergencies. The products cover a number of topics at the intersection of human rights and science, technology, and medicine, such as human rights and health equity, COVID-19 and children’s rights, the digital education divide, and the pandemic’s impact on the right to political participation. The IHRN’s Executive Committee, composed of academy members from 11 countries, also issued three public statements calling on authorities to put an end to repressive measures that impact professional colleagues: March 16, 2021 - In response to reports of widespread human rights abuses by police and military forces in Myanmar, including violent MYANMAR raids on hospitals and universities as part of a broader crackdown on peaceful protests following the February 1 military coup, the IHRN Executive Committee called for an end to the use of force against peaceful protesters, the release of all individuals held in arbitrary detention, unimpeded access to medical care, and the withdrawal of security forces from hospitals and universities. June 24, 2021 - The IHRN Executive Committee issued a statement highlighting continued restrictions on a range of internationally recognized rights in Nicaragua and the harassment of numerous medical and academic colleagues. They condemned the suppression NICARAGUA of peaceful dissent and called upon Nicaraguan authorities to permit access to the country by international human rights bodies for the purpose of monitoring, documenting, and analyzing the alarming human rights situation. 23

October 1, 2021 - In the fall of 2021, the Attorney General of Mexico filed multiple warrants for the arrest of 31 Mexican scientists and scientific administrators, accusing them of serious financial crimes. Although a federal judge found insufficient evidence of wrongdoing MEXICO and refused to grant the warrants, the Attorney General continued to seek their detention. The IHRN Executive Committee joined sc ientific and human rights bodies around the world in raising concerns about the treatment of these scholars and called upon Mexican authorities to ensure that any further investigation of this matter is in accordance with Mexico’s commitments under international human rights law. G i v e n s a f e t y concerns arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic, the planned biennial m e e t i n g o f t he IHRN has been postponed until 2023. It will be hosted by the Academy of S c i e n c e o f S outh Africa (ASSAf) in So uth Africa. IN MEMORY OF INDIRA NATH Member of the IHRN Executive Committee The IHRN Executive Committee and s t a f f m o u r n t h e p a s s i n g of Dr. Indira Nath, a dear colleague a n d f e l l o w m e m b e r o f t h e IHRN Executive Committee. Indira, a n I n d i a n i m m u n o l o g i s t a n d f o u n d i n g head of the Department of Biotec h n o l o g y a t t h e A l l I n d i a I n s t i t u t e o f M e d ical Sciences, is renowned for her pione e r i n g c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o i m m u n o l o g y r e s e a r c h in human lepro sy. Her work has led to m a j o r a d v a n c e m e n t s i n t h e b a t t l e a g a i n s t the disease, and she has long been at t h e f o r e f r o n t o f e f f o r t s t o e n d d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and prejudice toward leprosy patients. During a career spanning more tha n f i v e d e c a d e s , I n d i r a h a s b e e n a l e a d i n g g l obal voice on issues related to public h e a l t h , i n t e r n a t i o n a l s c i e n t i f i c c o o p e r a t i o n , and research ethics. For her enormous c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o s c i e n c e a n d m e d i c i n e , she received the Indian Government’s P a d m a S h r i , t h e F r e n c h G o v e r n m e n t ’ s C h e v alier Ordre National du Merite, the L’Or e a l U N E S C O A w a r d f o r W o m e n i n S c i e n c e , and numerous ot her awards and honors . M o r e i n f o r m a t i o n o n I n d i r a ’ s r e s e a r c h c a n be found in this article in Nature Medic i n e . Those who have been fortunate to k n o w a n d w o r k w i t h I n d i r a w i l l g r e a t l y m i s s her wisdom and expertise, but also h e r w a r m t h , k i n d n e s s , a n d h u m o r . D u r i n g her membership on the IHRN Executive C o m m i t t e e , I n d i r a w a s a n a c t i v e a n d g e n e r ous supporter of the IHRN’s human righ t s w o r k . W e a r e d e e p l y g r a t e f u l t o h a v e h a d the pleasure to k now her. 24

Co n tact CHR: Phone: 202 334 3043 Fax: 202 334 2225 Email: chr@nas.edu H O W YOU CAN HELP BECOME A C H R C O R R E S P O N D E N T If y o u a r e a member of the National Academies interested  in receiving  updates on our ac t i v i t i e s a n d opportunities to assist colleagues under threat, sign up to become a CHR C o r r e s p o n d e nt. SUBCRIB E T O O U R M A I L I N G L I S T F o r o t h e r i n dividuals interested in learning more about CHR events and activities, pl ease su b s c r i b e t o our email list. SUPPORT U S Y o u c a n m a ke a secure online gift on the CHR website, or by contacting the CHR via p h o n e o r e m ail. www.nationala c a d e m i e s . o r g / h u m a n r i g h t s

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The annual report of the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) provides an overview of the CHR's activities in 2021, including information on its advocacy, events, and awareness-raising projects.

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