Dark matter: Watching Human Rights Watch – „the worlds most respected human rights group“

von Hans-Peter Schröder

Human Rights Watch – The somehow different perspective

A preliminary personnel summary, selected from wikipedia

Der Gründer von Human Rights Watch Mr. Robert L. Bernstein


“Robert L. Bernstein is an American publisher and human rights activist. Bernstein started as an office boy at Simon & Schuster in 1946, moved to Random House in 1956 and succeeded Bennett Cerf as President and CEO in 1966. He served as the President of Random House for 25 years. He published many great American authors, including William Faulkner, James Michener, Dr. Seuss, Toni Morrison and William Styron.

After being invited to the Soviet Union as part of a delegation from the Association of American Publishers, he became interested in writers whose work could not be published in their own countries. Beginning with Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, he ensured that authors like Václav Havel, Jacobo Timerman, Faunier Hernán Ríos Jaramillo and Wei Jingsheng were all published around the world.

Involvement in Human Rights Movement

After his experience in Moscow in 1973, Bernstein returned to the U.S. and established the Fund for Free Expression, the parent organization of Helsinki Watch which later became Human Rights Watch. Bernstein served as the Founding Chair of Human Rights Watch until 1990 and thereafter as the Founding Chair Emeritus. Today, Human Rights Watch has a staff of nearly two hundred and covers some 70 countries. With offices in a dozen places, Human Rights Watch is renowned for advocacy on a broad range of issues, including women’s rights, children’s rights, international justice, the human rights responsibilities of corporations, refugees, arms transfers and free expression everywhere. He is also Chair Emeritus of the largest Chinese human rights organization, Human Rights in China, with offices in New York, Hong Kong and Brussels.

In October 2009 Bernstein wrote an OpEd for the New York Times criticizing Human Rights Watch for what he considered its unfair treatment of Israel. He argued that the organization he founded had „lost its critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields.“ He also noted the fact that Israel is the only free state in the area, and despite that, it is the one the organisation attacks the most.[1] In April 2010, The New Republic published a very critical piece regarding HRW, saying „Still, to most readers of the Times last October, even those who closely followed debates over Israel, Bernstein’s piece would have seemed odd: It isn’t every day that the founder of a group turns so publicly on his own creation. What few people outside HRW knew, however, was that Bernstein’s op-ed was the culmination of a long struggle inside the organization that had turned increasingly acrimonious over the years. The debate revolved around a single question: Was the world’s most respected human rights group being fair to Israel? Bob Bernstein wasn’t the only person at Human Rights Watch who thought the answer was no.“[2]……”

Der gegenwärtige Präsident von Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth:


Kenneth Roth is an American attorney and has been the executive director of Human Rights Watch since 1993.


Kenneth Roth, a graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, was drawn to human rights causes through his Jewish father’s experience of fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. His father would keep his three young sons quiet as he cut their hair by telling tales of their grandfather’s butcher shop in Frankfurt, Germany. As they grew older, he told them about living under the Nazis as a young boy and fleeing Germany in July 1938.

Jimmy Carter’s introduction of human rights as an element of US foreign policy in the late 1970s further inspired Roth to take on human rights as a vocation.[1]

Prior to working at HRW, Roth worked in private practice as a litigator and served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington DC.[2]

During the early years of his work in human rights movement, Roth focused on the Soviet imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981.[3]

Roth joined Human Rights Watch in 1987 as deputy director. His initial work centered on Haiti, which was just emerging from the Duvalier dictatorship but continued to be plagued by brutal military rule. Since then, Roth has traveled the world over, pressing government officials of all stripes to pay greater respect to human rights.[4]

His online bio on the HRW website states he has „special expertise on: issues of justice and accountability for atrocities committed in the quest for peace; military conduct in war under the requirements of international humanitarian law; counterterrorism policy, including resort to torture and arbitrary detention; the human rights policies of the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations; and, the human rights responsibilities of multinational businesses.“[5]

Roth has published numerous articles, newspaper op-eds, and articles in academic journals, covering a wide range of issues, including „Domestic Violence as an International Human Rights Issue“, in Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives;[6] „The Case for Universal Jurisdiction“;[7] „The Charade of US Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties“;[8] and „The Law of War in the War on Terror – Washington’s Abuse of Enemy Combatants“[9] His twitter handle is @KenRoth.

Human Rights Watch

In 1987, Roth was hired by Aryeh Neier to be deputy director of HRW and since 1993 (when Neier left to become head of George SorosOpen Society Institute), Roth has been the organization’s executive director.[2]

Under Roth’s leadership, Human Rights Watch has grown eight-fold in size and vastly expanded its reach. It now operates in more than 80 countries, ….. “

Der vorhergehende Präsident von Human Rights Watch Aryeh Neier:


Aryeh Neier

Aryeh Neier (born 1937) is an Americanhuman rights activist who serves as the president of the Open Society Institute and had earlier been Executive Director of Human Rights Watch and National Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Neier was born in Nazi Germany and became a refugee as a child when his family fled in 1939 when he was two years old.[1] He served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University.

…..Neier was criticized for his decision to have the ACLU support the National Socialist Party of America, a Neo-Nazi group, in its efforts to march in Skokie, Illinois in the case National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, despite the presence in Skokie of large numbers of Jews and Holocaust survivors. The ACLU’s representation of the group resulted in 30,000 members who ended their ACLU membership. …. In his 1979 book, Defending My Enemy: American Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, and the Risks of Freedom, Neier defended his actions in support of the Skokie march, arguing that Jews are best protected by ensuring that the rule of law allowing minorities to speak out is afforded to all groups.[3]…… As a human rights activist, Neier has led investigations of human rights abuses around the world, including his role in the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. .. .

Human Rights Watch ist unter Anderem auch Teilnehmer an der Münch`ner Sicherheitskonferenz und hat einen Sitz als NGO in der UNO

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