The philosophy behind HRW's blatant falsehoods on Rwanda

A key factor in Human Rights Watch’s undeserved influence derives from its very savvy and active media relations strategy. It very often reaches into the media to recruit some of its most rabble-rousing staffers, itself undoubtedly among the reasons many of its ‘reports’ tend to read more like tabloid hatchet jobs, pushing all sorts of bar-room gossip, rather than engaging in real investigations and serious fact-based analysis.

Editor,

RE: “Media silence over HRW’s exposure raises unanswered questions” (The New Times, October 19).

A key factor in Human Rights Watch’s undeserved influence derives from its very savvy and active media relations strategy. It very often reaches into the media to recruit some of its most rabble-rousing staffers, itself undoubtedly among the reasons many of its ‘reports’ tend to read more like tabloid hatchet jobs, pushing all sorts of bar-room gossip, rather than engaging in real investigations and serious fact-based analysis.

Given HRW’s cozy—and sometimes highly incestuous revolving-door relationship with members of the media (and Western governments, think-tanks, academia, and the world of policy-makers) that its millions attract to it—it is a matter of mutual scratching of backs. It is an arrangement both (all) sides find lucrative in all aspects.

Don’t therefore expect the media to play its alleged watchdog role or members of the other power centres in the West to apply objective scrutiny where HRW is concerned.

None of them can; they are in bed together, very close allies in a well-oiled (pun intended) geostrategic game of influence, power and destabilization of non-subservient governments from the Global South.

In reality HRW plays the role of missionaries of yore; soften up the colonialists’ targets for the final assault under the amorphous pretext of human rights and the even more conveniently indefinable doctrine of Responsibility to Protect. Who will protect us from these Later-Day Missionaries and the self-elected protectors!

Mwene Kalinda