WASHINGTON—The release of Andrei Sakharov from internal exile in Gorky could lead to improved relations between Soviet scientists and their colleagues around the world, say several scientists active in the human rights movement.

The decision December 16 by Soviet party leader Mikhail Gorbachev to allow Sakharov to return to Moscow and to continue both his scientific and human rights activities is generally viewed as a bold move that deserves applause from scientists everywhere. What is less clear, however, is the best way for the numerous human rights organizations who have worked long and hard for the release of Yuri Orlov, Anatoly Shcharansky and others to capitalize on this latest development without abandoning their tactics of applying pressure on Soviet leaders by rallying worldwide support for the victims of oppression.

"The fact is that the Soviets are moving to solve some of these problems themselves," said Andrew Sessler, a physicist at...

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