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Sunday, September 6, 2015

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS: Is Human Rights Watch About Human Rights?



Is Human Rights Watch About Human Rights?

Dave Alpert thinks not.

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Human Rights Watch is not about human rights
By Dave Alpert


Human Rights Watch (HRW) . . . a name that evokes thoughts of an organization that claims to defend and protect the rights of people around the globe.

If that’s the case, how would one explain why HRW’s actions and policies appear to be a reflection and support of U.S. policies, rather than an organization that offers an independent critique of U.S. actions? There is no other country that has violated international laws and human rights more than the U.S. And still, HRW remains silent.

There seems to be a contradiction between HRW’s stated mission and their actual functioning.

An example: In 2009, President Obama announced that the U.S. will continue its “rendition” program, a program in which “terrorist” suspects were kidnapped and sent to allied countries to be interrogated and tortured. Tom Malinowski, one of HRW’s executives stated, “Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place for renditions, and encouraged patience: They want to design a system that doesn’t result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured,” he said, “but designing that system is going to take some time.” Is he joking . . . HRW justifying rendition and torture?

In 2013, HRW focused its attention on Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, stating that his country was unfit to serve on the UN’s Human Rights Council because it did not meet the acceptable standards of human rights protection.

The U.S. served on the same council, yet HRW accepted that the U.S.’s human rights record was acceptable. After all, all “we” did was invade Iraq and Afghanistan without cause, send drones into Pakistan to fire missiles at suspected terrorists killing hundreds of innocent people, establish weekly meetings of Obama and his military advisors to determine who to kill that week, using drones in any country they chose (“kill list”).


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At midday on Friday 5 February, 2016 Julian Assange, John Jones QC, Melinda Taylor, Jennifer Robinson and Baltasar Garzon will be speaking at a press conference at the Frontline Club on the decision made by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on the Assange case.

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