HRW’s latest scandal in Rwanda is only a reminder of its true mission


Alphonse Majyambere (second right), one of the seven Rwandans that Human Rights Watch falsely claimed had been killed by the country's security forces, and relatives of the other supposed victims at the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission in Kigali on Friday. They questioned the motives of the US-based organization, with some threatening legal action. / File


RE: “HRW on the spot over false reports on Rwanda” (The New Times, October 14).

Could people please stop referring to ‘Human Rights’ (mirthless laughter) Watch as a ‘rights group’? There are nothing of the sort, but rather what retired US diplomat Richard Johnson referred to as a very powerful and unaccountable threat to Rwanda and the peace and stability of Central Africa.

Mr Johnson’s book, “The Travesty of Human Rights Watch on Rwanda”, should be required reading for everyone who wants to understand the nature of the evil HRW has become under its sclerotic decades-long despotic autocracy of Kenneth Roth whose vendetta against today’s Rwanda and its leadership has become thoroughly pathological pushing that financially powerful and highly connected organization from human rights advocacy to political advocacy for the aggrandization of the desiccated Roth and his equally corrupt minions.

The July 2017 ‘report’ that distinguishes itself with numerous claims of deaths at the hands of Rwandan military and security forces of so many people who are very much alive and shocked to hear of their own alleged deaths being pushed by this thoroughly discredited organization reminds me of this vignette reported by American journalist and author Ron Suskind about alleged reality-bending claims by an unnamed George W. Bush senior aide (subsequently said to have been Karl Rove, known more popularly as ‘Bush’s Brain’).

Mr Suskind wrote that: “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ [...]

“That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that is how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors—and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’

HRW seems to have taken a leaf straight out of this hubristic arrogance that comes with an accountable power. But, in the process, they have forgotten that the kind of nemesis that the gods invariably send to visit mere mortals whose arrogance have reached such levels, brought Dubya’s presidency to an ignominious end with a global financial crisis from which the world, including America’s Main Street, has yet to recover.

The country also remains mired in wars that it can neither win nor seems able to extract itself, throwing treasure after treasure in what seems like a Black Hole that will eventually bankrupt it.

HRW’s unbridled arrogance is no less breathtakingly arrogant, but I can safely predict a more mundane thud back to earth as it scraps the bottom of the now empty barrel for some crumbs of any credibility it might still have. Such an ignominious end could happen to a mere deserving crew of frauds. Many of us will celebrate their self-inflicted demise.

Mwene Kalinda