Subject: AAAS recognizes Professor Asrat and Professor Alemayehu

Statement by AAAS Science and Human Rights Program:

"As a follow-up to last year's AAAS Resolution on human rights violations against scientists in Ethiopia, the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program will recognize Dr. Alemayehu Tefera, a civil engineer and former president of Addis Ababa University. Dr Alemayehu was the only university president ever to be voted into office by the faculty. Dr Alemayehu was arrested on 2 April 1993. He was previously dismissed from the university post together with several university professors and two vice presidents in 1992. Dr. ALemayehu has been accused of participating in the Red Terror campaign of the former government. He was, however absolved of any crime by the authorities in 1991. He remains detained without charge or trial.

The Program will also recognize Dr. Asrat Woldeyes an internationally renowned Ethiopian surgeon who pioneered medical education in his country. Dr. Asrat was the first Ethiopian surgeon and the first Dean of the Medical Faculty at Addis Ababa University. He was dismissed from the University along with Dr. Teferra and forty others in 1992. Dr Asrat is serving a five and a half year prison sentence on charges of inciting violence for political ends. He was reportedly offered his freedom in exchange for ending his criticism of Meles Zenawi's government. Dr. Asrat's health has deteriorated significantly during his imprisonment. Although he is currently being held at Tikur Ambesa Hospital, there is considerable concern of his well being; the hospital reportedly does not have adequate facilities to treat Dr Asrat's diabetes, which is compounded by high blood pressure and loss of vision.


The charges against Dr. Alemayehu and Dr. Asrat are believed to be politically motivated."

The award will be presented to friends and relatives of Professor Asrat and Professor Alemayehu during AAAS's annual Science and Human Rights Reception which will take place in conjunction with the 1998 AAAS annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 13, 1998 from 7:30 to 9:00 PM in the Philadelphia Marriott Grand Ballroom J. The Philadelphia Marriott is located at the corner of Market and 12th Streets in Philadelphia, PA.

With over 200,000 members, AAAS is the largest scientific organization in the world.