The “watchdog” group Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued statements questioning the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden. These statements hijack the moral principles of international law and human rights, notes Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor.

On May 3 HRW executive director Ken Roth tweeted: Ban Ki-moon wrong on #Osama bin Laden: It’s not “justice” for him to be killed even if justified; no trial, conviction

In contrast to elected officials, such as President Obama, who must choose between real options, Roth presents a fictitious alternative in which arch-terrorists in countries like Pakistan can be arrested, tried, and punished by functioning international judicial systems.

One day earlier, HRW had issued a statement, “US: Osama Bin Laden Killed in Shoot-out,” making the odious comparison between the killing of Bin Laden and alleged violations by “the US and other countries”:

  • “Human Rights Watch said the United States should help to support the basic rights of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, free from the threat of those who perpetrate international crimes.”
  • The US and other countries that have suffered terrorist attacks should mark this moment as a new chapter, Human Rights Watch said – one in which they no longer resort to torture, ill-treatment, and other violations of basic rights in their understandable quest to prevent further strikes.”
  • Iain Levine, deputy executive director for program at Human Rights Watch: “His death should also bring an end to a horrific chapter of human rights abuses in the name of counterterrorism.”

Shortly after posting this statement, following critical comments, an apparently embarrassed HRW erased it from their website and replaced it with a slightly softer statement, “Osama Bin Laden’s Death.” HRW did not note the revisions. That statement included the following quote:

  • Kenneth Roth, executive director at Human Rights Watch: “At a time when citizens around the world have engaged in peaceful demonstrations in the name of freedom and democracy, bin Laden’s death is a reminder of the thousands of innocents who suffer when terrorist groups seek political change through brutal means.”

In contrast, NGO Monitor notes that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon praised the death of bin Laden as “a watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism.”  He continued: “This is a day to remember the victims and families of victims, here in the United States and everywhere in the world…Personally, I am very much relieved by the news that justice has been done to such a mastermind of international terrorism.”

UN Human Rights Commissioner Pillay, who works closely with the Islamic bloc in the UN, acknowledged that Bin Laden was a “very dangerous man” who had claimed “responsibility for the most appalling acts of terrorism…..This was a complex operation and it would be helpful if we knew the precise facts surrounding his killing. The United Nations has consistently emphasized that all counter-terrorism acts must respect international law.”

“This careful statement stands in strong contrast to HRW’s comparisons between acts of terrorism and the killing of the terrorist,” noted Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor: “In their statements, Ken Roth and other HRW officials continue to display their organization’s central role in exploiting moral principles for immoral objectives. This is another illustration of HRW’s record of highly misleading analyses on terrorism and responses, and the centrality of its political and ideological bias.”