The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, June 30, 1988, Summer, Page 2, Image 2

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    UNL prof discusses
rights with Czechs
By Larry Peirce
Staff Reporter
David Forsythe recently re
turned from what he said was “not
your average tourist trip” to Pra
gue, Czechoslovakia, where he
4 discussed human rights issues with
Czech scholars and dissidents.
The Academy of Sciences of
Prague, which hosted Forsythe, a
University of Nehraska-Lincoln
political science protessor, can t
be compared to anything in the
United States, he said.
“It is a kind of establishment
research organization,”he said. “It
is part of the party/statc-rule appa
The communist party and gov
ernment control the academy and
dictates its research.
During the 10-day visit, For
sythe gave two speeches about
human rights and political prison
ers at Charles University in Pra
gue, and met with Czech foreign
ministers and scholars.
Forsythe said an American
being invited by an eastern Euro
pean nation to speak about human
rights is a rare event. He said that
while the invitation is evidence of
a loosening Czech government,
censorship was still evident at for
mal meetings.
He said he was not restricted in
what he talked about, but during
formal meetings in front of gov
ernment officials, Czech scholars
wouldn’t discuss human rights
issues in socialist countries.
This self-imposed censorship
i by his Czech counterparts was a re
minder that little has changed in
that country.
“They wouldn’t even talk about
things that are public knowledge in
the Soviet Union,” he said.
Forsythe said he tried to talk
about human rights issues in Yugo
slavia, China and other socialist
countries, but the Czech scholars
would not.
Czech scholars talked about
human rights issues in the United
Stales, such as problems with
blacks and Native Americans. They
also wanted to discuss reasons why
the United Slates hasn’t ratified
most of the international treaties on
human rights.
After meeting with the scholars
privately, Forsythe said, it was clear
to him that they were ready for
Czech leaders are not ready to
endorse any change, he said.
Forsythe said the events of the
Prague Spring of 1968, when an
attempt by the Czech government at
liberal reform was crushed by the
Soviet Union, still strongly affect
Forsythe said that “in the backs
of the minds” of the scholars he met
with was the question “Where arc
those Czech reformers of 1968?”
“Well,” he said, “they arc in one
of three places: they arc living
abroad, in prison, or shoveling coal
someplace. These people do not
want the same thing to happen to
Forsythe said of the socialist
governments that have relaxed
government control over citizens’
political speech that Czech officials
arc close to the East Germans, who
are resistant to any kind of reform or
“glasnost” now seen in the Soviet
"One can discuss all sorts of
things in Moscow that one cannot
discuss in Prague," he said.
Forsythe said Czech officials
expelled 32 westerners, including 6
Americans, the weekend he left.
——— -—m
Connie Sheehan/Daily Nebrakan
These people held an unauthorized
meeting on human rights, he said.
W ith the help of U .S. diplomats,
he met with the three Czech dissi
dents who organized the illegal
“They were being harassed by
the regime,” he said. “They were
under surveillance.”
A great amount of caution had to
be taken to arrange a meeting with
dissidents, Forsythe said. He said
that if he had gone to the home of a
dissident, Czech officials might
have physically prevented any dis
Along with gifts from die Acad
emy, Forsythe brought home a bet
ter understanding of the Czech situ
ation and a continuing dialogue
with Czech scholars on human
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UNL officials discuss
1989 implementation
of photo I.D. system
By Julie Dauel
Staff Reporter
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
officials have taken the first step in
developing an all-purpose UNL
photo identification system.
Members of the student I.D. card
committee met for two weeks and
discussed how the system will work,
the cost, and where students will be
able to use the cards, said Doug Zat
echka, director of housing.
“Nothing is decided as of yet,”
Zatechka said.“The committee is
reviewing concepts abou‘ what the
system will do.”
i nc cumin luce, cum puscu ui uni
cials from several UNL departments,
will meet every Wednesday todiscuss
plans for the system.
The system is scheduled to be in
use by fall 1989.
The photo identification cards
might look like Vali-Dinc cards used
in residence hall food services, Zat
cchka said. One card will enable a
student to check out books at the
library, use recreation facilities, vote
at student government elections, and
get into campus activities and athletic
“I see a lot of benefits from the
system and it should minimize prob
lems for the students,” Zatcchka said.
“Instead of a student carrying Five
cards he will only have to carry one,”
Zatcchka said.
\t iPailYi
Editor Bob Noloon
472- 1766
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ment editor
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Art Director John Bruce
General Manager Daniel Shattll
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Publications Board Don Johnson
Chairman 472-3611
Professional Adviser Don Walton
473- 7301
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