Are reports of Human Rights Watch reviewed by external authorities before they are published? Who verifies the veracity of the information present in their reports? Are evidences and citations presented in these reports audited?

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    Yeah... Their reports on Kashmir.
    – nk379
    Sep 7, 2016 at 10:30
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    Different organizations have different quality assurance practices. I reduced the question to one of the two organizations you mentioned to keep the scope manageable. You might want to open a second question about Amnesty International. I removed the "was there any controversy" part because pretty much every report by a human rights organization generates some controversy. When this part was important to you, you might want to make it more specific, like for example asking about cases where reports they made turned out to be undeniable flat out wrong.
    – Philipp
    Sep 7, 2016 at 11:22
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    I wanted to know if these reports could be politically motivated. These reports are cited in Wikipedia articles. The organisation gets funding from various countries, so some countries could give some extra $'s to promote their agenda maybe?
    – nk379
    Sep 7, 2016 at 18:03
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    @Rathony - because both HRW and AI are intensely political organizations, AND their findings are used for political purposes beyond their own intentions as well
    – user4012
    Sep 8, 2016 at 0:37
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    @user4012 So? Is asking "Are reports of Human Rights Watch reviewed by external authorities before they are published?" on-topic? Are reports of U.N.'s organizations reviewed by external authorities? Are reports of a US senate committee reviewed by external authorities?
    – Rathony
    Sep 8, 2016 at 6:47

2 Answers 2


Are reports of Human Rights Watch reviewed by external authorities before they are published?

They probably try, but it's often not possible to determine if testimony is authentic or not. The New York Times has an article in which the founder of Human Rights Watch, R.L. Bernstein, explains the difficulty:

But how does Human Rights Watch know that these laws have been violated? In Gaza and elsewhere where there is no access to the battlefield or to the military and political leaders who make strategic decisions, it is extremely difficult to make definitive judgments about war crimes. Reporting often relies on witnesses whose stories cannot be verified and who may testify for political advantage or because they fear retaliation from their own rulers.

If they have additional evidence to back up some claim I'm sure they put it in (if at all possible) because that improves their report. If there is no additional evidence mentioned in the report / article then I think you should assume the worst: a single source that has not been verified.


The reports and accompanying pictures of Human Rights Watch are not reviewed by independent institutions or authorities to validate their truthfulness and authenticity.

The CEO of Human Rights Watch, Ken Roth and his wife Dr. Annie Sparrow, are proven to have used faked images respectively misattributed images to support their claim of atrocities being committed by government forces in Syria.

HRW can be seen as a part of the propaganda media machine in the aim to force a regime change in Syria.

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    Unless you can have a citation to back up that claim, speculating about all "so called" human rights organizations is not appropriate here. Dec 21, 2016 at 14:04
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    This is just a tweet from a personal account. It is reasonable to assume that official reports by HRW (which the question explicitly asks about) are subject to far more scrutiny. As long as this answer can not provide evidence for falsification in an official report published by HRW, it does not hold up to our standards.
    – Philipp
    Dec 21, 2016 at 15:38
  • Furthermore, he did not use "faked images", but rather simply misattributed the source of an image. Feb 21, 2017 at 22:43

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