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Human Rights Watch says Syria has only 30 political prisoners

February 24th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

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.

And then Reuters, AFP and the BBC have picked up, copied-and-pasted a HRW press release on the State Security Courts.


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 saritul // Mar 3, 2009 at 3.02 am

    I agree HRW has a dismal track record when it comes to issues that are not popular with America.

    They are all over Tibet and Darfur but when it comes to Palestine, they treat the Palestinians and Israelis as if they were equally oppressing each other. Its ridiculousl

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