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Sergey Piontkovski

vbaxter at aaas.org vbaxter at aaas.org
Fri May 26 03:40:11 EST 2000

This serves as both an invitation to anyone who might be in DC in the middle
of June, but also as an update to emails posted on this site last November.


The Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS) invites you to a reception in honor of Dr.
Sergey Piontkovski, a marine biologist from the Ukraine at the Institute of
Biology of the Southern Seas in Sevastopol.  In October 1999, in actions
reminiscent of the former Soviet KGB, the Ukrainian security police raided
his office and those of several of his colleagues, searched their computer
files and confiscated their passports.  Dr. Piontkovski was accused of
revealing state secrets (because he published his unclassified research on
plankton) and illegal currency transactions (because he accepted grants from
foreign funding organizations).  These activities are central to the conduct
of science as an international activity resting on a strong foundation of
openness and shared information.  

Although the story could have ended there, it did not.  Dr. Piontkovski's
case was taken up by the international scientific community, human rights
advocates, and friends and colleagues, who organized letter-writing
campaigns, shared information on a special website set up for the purpose,
and began raising funds for his legal defense.  The Science and Human Rights
Program sent out several alerts on the AAAS Human Rights Action Network, and
honored Dr. Piontkovski (in absentia) at its annual human rights reception
in February.  These collective efforts were successful.  The authorities
eventually dropped the charges against him, returned his passport, and
permitted him to leave Ukraine with his family in March 2000.   Dr.
Piontkovski is now living in the United States, where he is currently
associated with Marine Sciences Research Center at the State University of
New York at Stony Brook.  Dr. Piontkovski believes that the international
attention and actions on his behalf were largely responsible for his

Please join us at a reception to meet Sergey Piontkovski and to celebrate a
victory for human rights and for human rights advocacy.  The Science and
Human Rights Program will give Dr. Piontkovski the award that we were not
able to present in person in February.  

	Date:  June 15, 2000
	Time:  4:30-6:30 p.m. 
	Place:  American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1200
New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC.  AAAS is located at 12th and H Streets
and New York Avenue.  The closest metro is Metro Center.  
	RSVP to Eric Wallace at (202) 326-6787 or ewallace at aaas.org by June

Victoria Baxter
Project Coordinator
Science and Human Rights Program
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
1200 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 202 326 6797
Fax: 202 289 4950


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