human rights watch

Posted: April 1, 2013 by alishakhan13 in Systemic Racism

The Human Rights Watch is an independent leading organization that is devoted to defending and protecting human rights (Human Rights Watch, 2013). According to a report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch specifying claims such as police threats, torture and sexual assault, reported calls on the federal government to launch a national inquiry (CBCnews, 2013). There has been an alleged issue regarding RCMP officers partaking in abuse allegations in British Columbia, involving aboriginal women and girls (CBCnews, 2013). The RCMP has taken serious action against their officers for mistreating aboriginal women and girls, but they claim that individuals making the statements must come forward to allow police to conduct a proper investigation (CBCnews, 2013). Human Rights Watch had interviewed 50 aboriginal women and girls and specified that police had pepper-sprayed, tasered and were strip searched by male officers. Five months later into the investigation none of the allegations came forward for investigation, as it is impossible to investigate further when there is no method to determine who the victims or the accused are (CBCnews, 2013).

There were various comments that people had posted in regards to this article, but some stood out from the rest. There were people that were against the RCMP and the Human Rights Watch and there were some that were against the Human Rights Watch but some were in favour of the RCMP. For example, a lady commented, “It’s astounding how many people are ignorant of their rights in this province. It is everyone’s responsibility to know their civil and legal rights. Unfortunately that doesn’t prevent abuse from the RCMP” *CBCnews, 2013). It is clear that this individual has been through scrutiny with the RCMP which has allowed her to go against the RCMP, blaming the allegations of abuse on them rather than looking at the jist of the issue. Another commenter commented in favour of the RCMP stating, “This is a disgrace to our sense of fair play and justice. Human Rights Watch is making serious charges against a group of people without any proof to back up its allegations. If the RCMP did this, Human Rights Watch would be howling at the injustice and demanding the very proof they don’t want to give to others” (CBCnews, 2013). It is obvious from this comment that the human rights watch is covering up for their lack of investigation into the national inquiry by bringing allegations of abuse made by officers against the aboriginal community. In regards to the aboringinal community some indivudals commented blaming the aboriginal community which in my opinion is immoral.  They stated that they were “Surprised the First Nations didn’t blame our “colonial” forefathers in their statement along with their lack of supporting evidence” (CBCnews, 2013). This has yet to establish the relationship between the RCMP and the aboriginal community, and if the aboriginal community will build strong bonds if any with the RCMP.

A comment that I would like to make is “why has the Human Rights Watch made allegations towards the RCMP without any proof.” It is unfair to accuse an organization with a motto to serve and protect their community, since it does distort the public’s perception towards the police. Without any proof it is essentially wrong to accuse a person let alone an organization of such an effective and impacting issue. In addition, in my opinion it is not right for one organization to accuse another without any proof when they themselves are not putting in the effort to bring justice to their citizens.

Resources:

 

CBCnews. (2013, February 12). RCMP accused of rape in report on B.C. aboriginal women: Force takes claims ‘very seriously,’ but stresses complainants must come forward. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/12/bc-human-rights-watch-abuse-report.html

 

Human Rights Watch. (2013). About us. Retrieved from http://www.hrw.org/about

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Comments
  1. Mike Larsen says:

    I am curious. You note that:

    ” It is clear that this individual has been through scrutiny with the RCMP which has allowed her to go against the RCMP, blaming the allegations of abuse on them rather than looking at the jist of the issue.”

    Why is this clear? Are you suggesting that every person who holds a negative view of RCMP practices is biased against the RCMP? Does this not imply that the ‘natural’ position one ought to adopt is pro-police?

    You also state that:

    “It is obvious from this comment that the human rights watch is covering up for their lack of investigation into the national inquiry by bringing allegations of abuse made by officers against the aboriginal community. ”

    If it is obvious, we should be able to demonstrate it. What evidence can we produce to suggest that HRW is involved in a cover-up?

    HRW has made a number of statements about RCMP-community relations. These statements are based on the research conducted by the organization. HRW has invited the RCMP and other government organizations to respond.

    Question: If the HRW researchers had reason to believe that the statements made to them by the community members they interviewed were accurate and truthful, what should they have done with the information?

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