In cahoots with its wealthy donors and imperial USA, Human Rights Watch (HRW) operates as a mouthpiece for powerful pro-Western interests.
During the Cold War after its 1978 founding, it served as an anti-Soviet Russia propaganda instrument.
Its executive director Kenneth Roth is a former federal prosecutor. His predecessor Aryeh Neier left to become president of George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
Communications Director Carrol Bogert served as Newsweek’s editor, correspondent and bureau chief.
Michael Shifter is a former undemocratic National Endowment for Democracy (NED) official, Suzan Nossel a former State Department official, Miguel Diaz a former CIA analyst.
Other past and present members are former US officials or have ties to sources representing Washington’s geopolitical interests.
In 2010, Soros’ Open Society Foundation announced a $100 million grant to HRW over a 10 year period through 2020.
At the time, it was the foundation’s largest ever grant to an NGO—made to serve Soros’ geopolitical interests.
In its 2020 World Report, HRW falsely accused China of “pos[ing] a global threat to human rights,” calling on the world community to “unite against its” actions.
In cahoots with Washington’s get tough on China policy, Roth accused Beijing of assaulting the international human rights system.
China is at peace with neighboring states, at war with none anywhere, threatening none, working cooperatively with other nations—polar opposite how the US-dominated West and Israel operate.
China’s Global Times asked the following:
“Have people like Roth ever visited Chinese cities and spoken with ordinary Chinese families?”
“Have they ever been to the shopping malls and streets that have sprung up all over China, and talked with ordinary Chinese people there?”
“Have they left nightclubs and walked back to the hotel at night in China,” knowing they’d be safe outside in the late evening?
“Is China’s human rights system the worst in the world?”
“Are they talking about human rights or the privileges of the very few followers of the US value?”
Since the 1970s, life expectancy, food, shelter, clothing, education, public health services, economic conditions, and overall development improved significantly in China.
In its report on the country, HRW falsely claimed its ruling authorities are using “growing economic clout to silence critics and to carry out the most intense attack on the global system for enforcing human rights since that system began to emerge in the mid-20th century.”
Days earlier, Roth was denied entry into Hong Kong to introduce his report after Beijing accused HRW of supporting months of US-orchestrated violence, vandalism and chaos in city—aiming to weaken China by attacking its soft underbelly.
Beijing called HRW’s report an exercise of US propaganda devoid of facts, “viewing China from distorted views… [lacking] objectivity.”
It falsely claimed months of violent, disruptive Hong Kong protests have been peaceful, accusing police of using excessive force.
Its report resembles State Department propaganda against sovereign states on the US target list for regime change.
HRW is an imperial tool, vilifying nations the US doesn’t control and their ruling authorities, largely ignoring horrendous US human rights abuses at home and abroad.
It ignores killer cops operating unaccountably in the US nationwide, the US gulag prison system operating worldwide, torture as official US policy, endless wars of aggression against invented enemies, featuring high crimes of war and against humanity, along with state terrorism to advance its interests.
No HRW reports expose and criticize US high crimes. Nor do they explain US governance serving privileged interests at the expense of most others, nothing about police state crackdowns on nonbelievers, silence about censorship as the new normal in America on the phony pretext of protecting national security.
HRW is OK with controlling the message in the US and other Western societies, with imprisoning Chelsea Manning and others for exposing US high crimes, and wanting Julian Assange prosecuted for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it should be.
Spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang slammed HRW’s report, stressing that “[t]he Chinese people are in the best position to judge China’s human rights condition, which is at its historical best.”
Roth falsely accused China’s Xi Jinping of “overseeing the most pervasive and brutal oppression in decades,” adding, “Beijing has built the most intrusive system of surveillance we’ve ever seen and coupled it with the largest case of mass arbitrary detention in decades.”
China’s UN official Xing Jisheng said HRW’s report is “full of prejudices.” Beijing “reject[s] the contents.”
The South China Morning Post said, “Of all [the] places” HRW focused on in China, it “pick[ed] Hong Hong,” adding, “Roth h[as] a report to sell… claiming the Chinese government is undermining human rights everywhere, not just within China.”
He “got what he wanted…sensationalized publicity.” Given months of US-orchestrated turbulence in Hong Kong, “[no] police force in the world could pass muster under such intense and biased scrutiny.”
Last March, the Trump regime denied visas to international jurists involved in investigating US forces accused of war crimes in Afghanistan and other US war theaters.
SCMP: “Did Human Rights Watch jump up and down about that?” Clearly not. HRW is part of the pro-Western “human rights industrial complex,” adding, “As the US carries out interventions around the world, self-appointed American liberal warriors like Roth are at the vanguard.”
“There is no better way to disguise interventionist US foreign policy by giving it a human rights cover.”
A final comment
In 2013, an HRW report falsely called Damascus the “likely culprit [of a] chemical attack”—failing to explain it and others were carried out by US-supported terrorists.
Its report falsely said, “Available evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government forces were responsible for chemical weapons attacks on two Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013.”
In February 2019, HRW disinformation repeated the Big Lie about Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s May 2018 reelection triumph, falsely claiming that “the polls had not met international standards of freedom and fairness [sic],” wrongfully adding: “No independent government institutions remain today in Venezuela to act as a check on executive power [sic].”
“A series of measures by the Maduro and Chavez governments stacked the courts with judges who make no pretense of independence [sic].”
“The government has been repressing dissent through often-violent crackdowns on street protests, jailing opponents, and prosecuting civilians in military courts. It has also stripped power from the opposition-led legislature [sic].”
The above are two examples of HRW disinformation, many other reports like it, vilifying US adversaries, serving Washington’s imperial interests.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.