Is Human Rights Watch working correctly? Reports say HRW is influenced by West
The international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been criticized by national governments, other NGOs, the media and its founder (and former chairman), Robert L. Bernstein. Criticism falls into one of two general categories: poor research or inaccurate reporting and (more commonly) bias. Bias allegations include the organization’s being influenced by United States government policy, particularly in relation to reporting on Latin America; ignoring anti-Semitism in Europe, or being anti-Semitic itself; the Arab–Israeli conflict; and the misrepresentation of human-rights issues in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Accusations in relation to the Arab–Israeli conflict include claims that HRW is biased against Israel, demonstrated by its requesting (or accepting) donations from Saudi Arabian citizens, but has also been accused of pro-Israel bias. HRW has publicly responded to criticism of its reporting on Latin America and the Arab–Israeli conflict.
Allegations of inaccuracy
HRW has been accused of evidence-gathering bias because it is said to be “credulous of civilian witnesses in places like Gaza and Afghanistan” but “skeptical of anyone in a uniform.”Its founder, Robert Bernstein, accused the organization of poor research methods and relying on “witnesses whose stories cannot be verified and who may testify for political advantage or because they fear retaliation from their own rulers.”According to The Times, HRW “does not always practice the transparency, tolerance and accountability it urges on others.”In 2012, New Europe said that HRW “allegedly erased references in its reports to its previous cooperation with the Gaddafi regime, including the role of the organization’s MENA Director, Sarah Leah Whitson, in marketing Saif al-Islam Gaddafi as a reformer.”