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Release: June 28, 2000

Human rights activist Nair is Ida Beam Visiting Professor Oct. 29-Nov.5

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Ravi Nair, executive director of the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center, will visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Beam Visiting Professor Oct. 29 to Nov. 5.

Nair's visit is being sponsored by the UI Human Rights Center and is co-sponsored by the UI Colleges of Law and Education, the Global Studies Program and the South Asian Studies Program.

In addition to lecturing in several of the UI colleges, Nair will give a public lecture during his visit. He is also scheduled to conduct a workshop in the College of Education -- titled "International Human Rights Day" -- for local schoolteachers and students.

Nair, who serves on the executive committee of the Geneva-based International Service for Human Rights, has been arrested numerous times by the Indian police because of his activism. He spent a year in detention under the Defence of India Rules in 1975-76 while protesting against the imposition of the emergency in India. He was last arrested in 1993 in the northeastern Indian state of Assam while breaking a state government ban against the celebration of United Nations Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

Ida Beam, a native of Vinton, willed her farm to the UI Foundation in 1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from the College of Medicine. With proceeds from the sale of the farm, the UI established a fund to bring top scholars in a variety of disciplines to the university for lectures and discussions.