Letter to the Editor: Roth's contribution problematic

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On July 30, the Financial Review published an interview with Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), that presented a highly distorted image. Roth is very controversial, and has been publicly denounced by, among others, Robert Bernstein, the founder of the organisation that Roth heads. The criticism goes far beyond the brief dismissal of these comments as merely complaints from Roth’s preferred targets, including Israelis.

As Bernstein wrote in the New York Times, HRW, under Roth’s leadership, abandoned the organisation’s principled commitment to universal human rights, and substituted a politicised agenda focusing primarily on democracies. Far from responsible and credible research on human rights violations, HRW has often been found to have invented the “evidence” cited in their misleading reports. And, while Roth was educated as a lawyer, his versions of international law are systematically dismissed as far removed from reality.