Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and another member of his senior staff, Sarah Leah Whitson, have been disallowed from entering into Egypt. The two were detained at Egypt’s Cairo International airport for 12 hours before security officials deemed it necessary to send them out of the country on another flight.
Whitson said that Cairo authorities told her their detention and deportation was for “security reasons.”
Human Rights Watch said it was set to release a report Tuesday that “documents how Egyptian police and army methodically opened fire with live ammunition on crowds of demonstrators” after the Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was forced to step down in a regime change demanded by the Egyptian people.
Roth said from Cairo via Twitter that the “Rabaa massacre numbers rank with Tiananmen and Andijan,” but Egypt “wouldn’t let me in to present a report on it.”
Human Rights Watch has claimed that 1,150 Egyptians were killed between the months of July and August during what they deemed to be “demonstrations.”
HRW has been accused of heavy selection bias, particularly against the State of Israel. The founder of Human Rights Watch, Robert L. Bernstein, wrote a scathing critique of his own organization’s biases in a New York Times op-ed:
The region [Middle East] is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.
Meanwhile, the Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350 million people, and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent. The plight of their citizens who would most benefit from the kind of attention a large and well-financed international human rights organization can provide is being ignored as Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division prepares report after report on Israel.
HRW’s Exec Director Ken Roth has been accused of being more of an ideologue than an actual expert on Middle East regional matters. His failure to draw the connections between Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran during the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel war made some pundits question whether Roth was simply an intellectual lightweight driving home his particular one-size-fits-all worldview. Roth has also been accused of rationalizing the recent kidnapping by Muslim Brotherhood Hamas terrorists and subsequent murder of three Israeli teens because according to him, they were attending school in an “illegal settlement.”
The NGO watchdog NGO Monitor examined HRW’s report on Israel’s war against radical terror group Hezbollah. NGO Monitor found that HRW had been engaged in an “obsessive focus” in criticism of Israel during the 2006 war, publishing almost one article per day condemning the Jewish State.
Whitson is known for her harsh criticism of Israel, seemingly placing blame on the Jewish state for the problems in the greater Middle East region. She was also a classmate of President Obama at Harvard Law School. During a fifteen minute speech on her findings in the Middle East, she spent almost four minutes talking about Israel’s “violations” while only mentioning Hamas and Hezbollah for a combined 12 seconds. Whitson had previously been a member of the American-Arab Antidiscrimination Committee, known for its support of Palestinian terrorism during the Second Intifada.