GENEVA, Dec. 18 – Human Rights Watch has just expelled top U.N. official Richard Falk from one of its committees, where he helped played a key role in the organization’s global work.
UN Watch, an unrelated non-governmental organization based in Geneva, had called for HRW to sack Falk from the post, noting he has been condemned for spreading antisemitism and 9/11 conspiracies by British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
“We commend Human Rights Watch and its director Kenneth Roth for doing the right thing, and finally removing this enemy of human rights from their important organization,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
“A man who supports the Hamas terrorist organization, and who was just condemned by the British Foreign Office for his cover endorsement of a virulently antisemitic book, has no place in an organization dedicated to human rights,” said Neuer.
Up until yesterday, Richard Falk was an active member of Human Rights Watch’s prestigious Santa Barbara Committee, a group of prominent citizens who, according to HRW, help play a key role in the organization’s global defense of human rights.
Neuer received confirmation this morning from HRW representative Iain Levine that Falk “no longer” holds the position, and that the HRW website “has now been updated to reflect that fact.” Falk’s name, listed as of yesterday, no longer appears.
But in fact much more happened yesterday than the updating of a website: Falk was expelled.
The specifics were provided today by none other than Richard Falk himself, who admitted on his blog that, following UN Watch’s protest yesterday, he was “asked to resign.”
Falk said he was told it was “because of my connection with the UN, which is contrary to HRW policy.”
If that were the real reason, of course, he would have been removed long ago.
Following Falk’s expulsion from one of the world’s top NGOs, Neuer called on U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to act now to remove Falk from his position as the U.N. Human Rights Council’s permanent monitor tasked with investigating “Israel’s violatons of the bases and principles of international law.”
Before (listing Falk)_________ Now (Falk removed)
Falk’s committee membership was listed in HRW’s latest annual report, which is online here (see p. 22).