Human Rights Watch
| You gotta spin it to win it|
|Stop the presses!|
|We want pictures|
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is an independent human rights information and advocacy group which is funded entirely by private donation. HRW was founded by Robert Bernstein in 1978 as Helsinki Watch, an organization dedicated to monitoring human rights abuses in the Soviet bloc. During the 1980s, similar groups like Americas Watch and Africa Watch were founded, and these were united under the HRW umbrella in 1988.
HRW's mission statement, as read on its website, is:
Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people worldwide. We scrupulously investigate abuses, expose the facts widely, and pressure those with power to respect rights and secure justice. Human Rights Watch is an independent, international organization that works as part of a vibrant movement to uphold human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all.
Our work is guided by international human rights and humanitarian law and respect for the dignity of each human being.
Alleged anti-Israel bias
As with many other human rights organisations, it has struggled with the issue of Israel and how much emphasis to place on Israel's human rights abuses versus the crimes of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations; this led to Bernstein writing an attack on HRW as anti-Israel in the New York Times in 2009. He also criticized HRW for trying to solicit funds from the highly human-rights-abusing government of Saudi Arabia, although there's no evidence that this affected HRW's reporting.