Julian Assange ordeal is exposing major problems with Amnesty and Human Rights Watch

My latest two email to both Amnesty and HRW are below. I've been copying these to Democracy Now! who should start asking officials from both groups much harder questions when they are on the show.

Dear Human Rights Watch:
I notice that Ken Roth and Miguel Vivanco have taken to publicly ranking Latin American countries by their human rights record.
Ken Roth (the executive director of Human Rights Watch) recently used his Twitter account to call several ALBA bloc governments the "most abusive" in Latin America

Even more recently, Miguel Vivanco said the following to the UK Guardian regarding Julian Assange’s request to Ecuador for political asylum

"I think this is ironic that you have a journalist, or an activist, seeking political asylum from a government that has – after Cuba – the poorest record of free speech in the region, and the practice of persecuting local journalists when the government is upset by their opinions or their research,"

Please answer these questions:

1) When did HRW start ranking countries by abuses and where is that exact criteria explained?

2) Assuming you are familiar with your own reports on Colombia, how did that country not receive the top ranking – by a huge margin – for abusiveness?

3) Does HRW oppose Assange’s efforts to seek asylum?

4) Assuming your answer to question 3 is "no", in which country (by your criteria) would HRW advise Assange to seek asylum?

 Joe Emersberger


Dear HRW and Amnesty:
HRW's exceutive directror, Ken Roth, tweeted
Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
21/06/2012 15:44
Odd that free-speech advocate Assange would seek asylum with #Ecuador, known under Pres Correa for suppressing speech. trib.al/L1tK6c

According to another newspaper report:
"Senior Amnesty International executive Widney Brown says Mr Assange has the right to seek asylum but questions whether he really has a well-founded fear of persecution.

'He's going to have to meet a threshold it's not clear to me he would be able to meet, since he has had his day in court,' Ms Brown told reporters in Canberra"


To my knowledge, neither HRW or Amensty is encouraging Ecuador to grant Julian Assange asylum. On the contrary, the public remarks I have read appear dismissive of the threat Assange faces – extremely odd coming from human rights organizations. Consider the treatment dished out to Bradley Manning, who, unlike Assange, is a US citizen. I should not have to mention "extraordinary rendition", drone attacks among numerous other grave abuses by the USA. Below I've listed many of the public calls made for Assange's assasination made by very prominent people. It might help you rethink the kind of quotes you are supplying the corporate press.
Please encourage Ecuador to grant Assange asylum.
Joe Emersberger 
Sarah Palin
Former US Vice Presidential Candidate
Julian Assange should be targeted like the Taliban

Thomas Flanagan
former advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. (laughs) I think Obama should put out a contract or use a drone or something. I wouldn't feel happy, uh, unhappy, if Assange disappeared.
Bob Beckel
FOX News commentator
A dead man can't leak stuff…This guy's a traitor, he's treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I'm not for the death penalty, so…there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.

Eric Bolling
FOX News commentator
[Assange] should be underground — six feet underground. … He should be put in jail or worse, hanged in a public forum.

Todd Schnitt
Radio Host

Jeffrey Kuhner
Washington Times columnist
Headline: Assassinate Assange? Body: Julian Assange poses a clear and present danger to American national security … The administration must take care of the problem – effectively and permanently.

John Hawkins
Far-right blogger
Julian Assange is not an American citizen and he has no constitutional rights. So, there's no reason that the CIA can't kill him. Moreover, ask yourself a simple question: If Julian Assange is shot in the head tomorrow or if his car is blown up when he turns the key, what message do you think that would send about releasing sensitive American data?

Ralph Peters
U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and author
Julian Assange is a cyber terrorist in wartime, he's guilty of sabotage, espionage, crimes against humanity — he should be killed, but we won't do that.

Ralph Peters
U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and author
I do not believe in leaks. I would execute leakers. They're betraying our country.

Steve Gill
Right-wing Nashville radio host
Folks like Julian Assange should be targeted as terrorists. They should be captured and kept in Guantanamo Bay, or killed.

Rush Limbaugh
Right-wing radio talk show host
Back in the old days when men were men and countries were countries, this guy would die of lead poisoning from a bullet in the brain.

William Kristol
Editor of the Weekly Standard
Why can't we act forcefully against WikiLeaks? Why can't we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are?

G. Gordon Liddy
Former White House Adviser, talk show host
This fellow Anwar al-Awlaki – a joint U.S. citizen hiding out in Yemen – is on a 'kill list' [for inciting terrorism against the U.S.]. Mr. Assange should be put on the same list.

Deroy Murdock
Columnist for National Review
If convicted, [Bradley Manning] should be placed against a wall and executed by firing squad. (If extradited here, Assange deserves the same sendoff.)

Johan Goldberg
Editor-at-large of National Review Online
I'd like to ask a simple question: Why isn't Julian Assange dead? …Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago? It's a serious question.

Donald Douglas
Blogger, Right Wing News
I won't think twice if Julian Assange meets the cold blade of an assassin, and apparently a significant number of others don't care for the guy.

Paul Holmes
New Zealand Herald Columnist
I suppose they'll kill him, [Assange]. I would if I were them.

Mike Huckabee
Former Governor of Arkansas and FOX News talk show host
Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.

You Know Who They Are
"If legal attacks on Assange fail, he'll simply be assassinated by the CIA." -Paul Craig Roberts

Jason Lancaster
President of Spork Marketing
Assange is not a political figure… He represents a danger to the USA and he should be killed ASAP.



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