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Human Rights Watch’s 2009 Report

Human Rights Watch’s 2009 report is out. See report here, press release here and introduction by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, here. Although there is every reason to exercise caution before relying too much on NGO information in general, the Report has some very good points. Alongside the usual and very valid condemnation of authoritarian regimes like Burma and Iran, it is argued that incoming president Obama ought to take back the ground as a pro-human rights leader which the outgoing Bush administration squandered. Furthermore, there is criticism directed at the EU for wasting too much time micromanaging instead of focusing on the real issues. Criticism is also levied on the UN’s Human Rights Council for all too often paying too much attention to the defeating will of human rights “spoilers”.

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