Human Rights Watch Used as a Political Weapon Against Rwanda

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By Emmanuel Mugisha

The latest report by Human Right Watch does nothing but show the kind of bias that the US-based rights group has against the government of Rwanda, which makes me wonder how anybody with a fair mind fails to see this bias from the first to the last paragraph.

The report is deeply flawed – including quoting so-called Rwandan officers who have worked with M23 and were previously on Rwandan peacekeeping contingents in Darfur and Somalia— and only shows how too low HRW can stoop.

Surely it was not hard for this organization to establish that Rwanda has never deployed a single peacekeeper in Somalia.

In his well articulated document called ‘The Travesty of Human Rights Watch on Rwanda’, retired American diplomat Richard Johnson, evidently proves that HRW’s discourse on Rwanda over the past twenty years has been viscerally hostile to the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) which defeated the genocidal regime in 1994.

In his own judgment, Human Rights Watch is far from doing human rights advocacy but actively involved in political advocacy against Rwanda.

An excerpt in his document calls upon the HRW’s Board of Directors to hold HRW personnel who cover Rwandan issues accountable for this travesty, which has dangerous implications for Western policy toward Rwanda.

The discipline of modern international relations considers non-state actors like HRW as potential actors in influencing diplomatic relations.

The continued and intentional bias of HRW reports against Rwanda leaves a big question in any ones rational mind as to whether HRW is not a well formed weapon against Rwanda targeting to tarnish the good and well earned reputation of Rwanda on the international scene.

As requested by Richard Johnson in his document, western governments should be careful about following HRW advice and reports on Rwanda simply because this will discourages Western governments from doing what they should to support Rwanda’s recovery from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda has on very many occasions proved her good will in contributing towards bringing sustainable peace in the Great Lakes region and being part of the solution to the sick man of Africa-Congo.

The HRW being adamant to accept Rwanda’s enormous contribution to the DRC question, recently produced a report linking the ongoing rape cases and human rights violation in DRC to Rwanda. Very unfair!

Human Right Watch, like other self styled watchdogs who play double standard when dealing with Rwanda, have a hidden agenda that the International community should endeavor to unearth before putting into consideration their misleading and biased reports.

I strongly believe that most of their decision making processes are not transparent. Is their practice open to public scrutiny and accountability? I wonder! The media ought to unveil to the international community the offense done against Rwanda by HRW.

The International Community should bring to account such organization especially by looking deeper into allegations such as paying witnesses to fabricate evidence, which is a common practice by Human Rights Watch.

The author is a lawyer and media expert.

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