Siegmar Faust is a German human rights activist and writer. As a young man, his outspoken protests against the autocratic government of East Germany caused numerous conflicts with the Ministry of State Security - the Stasi - widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. A blossoming writer, he was expelled from university and arrested for publishing "subversive propaganda." He was sentenced to four and a half years in prison in 1974 and spent most of that time in solitary confinement. Despite being imprisoned and tortured by the Stasi, Faust continued to spread word of East Germany's denial of human rights. He authored several books documenting his experiences and is the former state commissioner for the Stasi files, a German government agency that preserves and protects the Stasi's archives and investigates its past crimes. Faust has been a member of the International Society for Human Rights since the late 1 980s; he currently serves on its Board of Trustees.