Investigating HRW's Credibility in the Wake of the Garlasco Affair
Human Rights Watch’s reported suspension of its senior military expert, Marc Garlasco, is a belated recognition of the need for an independent investigation, not only of the individual involved, but more importantly, of HRW
Beyond Garlasco’s activities and statements surrounding his Nazi memorabilia collection, this investigation should examine the HRW employment process, and the credibility of the numerous reports and related activities in which he played a central role. In particular, this detailed and external review should examine the veracity of reports on Israel which Garlasco co-authored and presented at press conferences, and which included repeated condemnations using terms such as "war crimes", "violation of international law", etc. These allegations promoted the campaign to isolate
For a number of years, NGO Monitor has identified numerous claims in Garlasco
NGO Monitor has not found any independent sources to support Garlasco
The specific HRW reports and statements which were based on Garlasco
Â• Razing Rafah (October 2004)
Â• Gaza Beach (June 2006)
- Cluster Munitions (“Flooding
- Civilian Casualties (“Why They Died”)
- White Phosphorous (“Rain of Fire”)
- Drones (“Precisely Wrong”)
As NGO Monitor analyses have demonstrated, each of these cases includes technical "evidence" which is clearly false. Examples include the claims regarding weapons systems discussed in the white phosphorous (“Rain of Fire”) and drone reports (“Precisely Wrong”) concerning the Gaza war, and the extensive discussion of tunneling detection technology in the 2004 report (“Razing Rafah”).
There are also many examples of entirely speculative claims in Garlasco
Analysis of HRW
NGO Monitor’s President, Prof Gerald Steinberg said “Garlasco
HRW’s reliance on Garlasco’s supposed ‘expertise’ raises enormous questions over the credibility of their activities. It reflects an organization that has consistently placed ideology above professionalism and universal human rights values.”
Click here to view NGO Monitor’s report “Experts or Ideologues?”
Click here to view the NGO Monitor review of HRW’s 2008 activities
NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations. For more information, see our website at
Comment on this item
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