Human Rights Watch has been incredibly active on its Syria programme recently. And now it has put out a piece claiming Syria has 30 political prisoners.
I’ve had a long-running distaste for HRW. The vast majority of their funding comes from within the US (because almost all of their members are American). That means most of its work is culturally loaded, even if they’re not a bunch of cultural missionaries. Take its HRW Film Festival last year, for example.
And then there’s the way it measures success. Success for HRW is in the number of newspaper articles and TV/radio pieces which mention HRW’s name. That always strikes me as a rather egocentric reason for existence.
Anyway, I’m not going to critique their two latest “successes” (mainly because there’s not much to criticise!).
First, this editorial by an HRW researcher in the Guardian which claims Syria only has 30 political prisoners.