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August 4, 1993

Health Professionals Persecuted in Violation of Their Human Rights: A Partial List of Cases

JAMA. 1993;270(5):554-560. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510050014005

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NUMBERING in the hundreds, at least, are the health care professionals worldwide who are persecuted because of their professional activities or because they peacefully oppose the official policies of their governments. Many have been imprisoned for long periods without trial. Others have been tortured, or murdered, or have "disappeared."

Many such cases have been brought to light in a directory compiled by the Science and Human Rights Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Published first in May 1992 and updated last month, the directory lists the cases of more than 300 scientists, engineers, health professionals, and students in related fields whose basic human rights— set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights—have been violated.

Most have been persecuted because they have expressed opinions or engaged in peaceful activities contrary to the political party