Human Rights Watch coming of age? The 2015 report.

Among other things the new 2015 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report available on:

… says that the sectarian and abusive policies of the Iraqi and Syrian governments, international indifference to them, have been important factors in fueling the rise of ISIS. Philip Roth’s well-known and justified aversion to Assad’s use of barrel-bombs and the UNSC’s failure to censure this comes through loud and clear.

The US government comes under attack for refusing to investigate, let alone prosecute, those who ordered the torture detailed in the Senate report on CIA torture. Meanwhile, the report notes the counter-productive nature of French government policy, where there is a danger that the government’s response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks – using counterterrorism legislation to prosecute speech that does not incite violence – will have a chilling effect on free expression.

The report welcomes the new role for the ICC in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Egyptian government’s crushing of the Muslim Brotherhood is blamed for sending the utterly counterproductive message that if political Islamists pursue power through the polls, they will be repressed, which encourages violent approaches. The report writes: “Secretary
of State John Kerry repeatedly spoke of a transition to democracy that was supposedly under way in Egypt despite the lack of supporting evidence. Now that Congress has added a new national security exception to the military aid conditions in place, the US government seems likely to restore most, if not all, of its military support for Cairo without any letup in its repression. This rush to turn the aid spigot back on is driven by a prioritization of enlisting the Egyptian military to curtail an insurgency in the Sinai, back Israel’s fight against Hamas in Gaza, and support the anti-ISIS war in Syria and Iraq over supporting the rights of the Egyptian people. The UK, France, and other European governments have also done little to reverse Sisi’s unprecedented crackdown.