Kenneth Roth, The Boston Globe

Kenneth Roth

The Boston Globe

New York, NY, United States

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Past articles by Ken:

Harvard needs to stand with its principles, not with Israel — or its donors

Human Rights Watch and I seem to be objectionable to Douglas Elmendorf, dean of Harvard Kennedy School, precisely because we are impartial observers, which gives our criticism of Israel greater weight. → Read More

I once ran Human Rights Watch. Harvard blocked my fellowship over Israel

I was told that my fellowship at the Kennedy School was vetoed over my and Human Rights Watch’s criticism of Israel → Read More

The U.N. Gave a Quiet Diplomat the Wrong Job

Volker Türk lacks the temperament to be the United Nations human rights chief. → Read More

Saving Lives in Time of War

War is ugly, but total war is worse. That's the way, for example, that Russian and Syrian forces fought in Syria, and how Russian forces are now fighting in Ukraine. The civilian toll can be enormous. → Read More

Building a War-Crimes Case Against Vladimir Putin

With Russian war crimes apparently being committed in Mr. Putin’s war in Ukraine, determining who bears command responsibility will be an important focus of the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation that has already begun. → Read More

Opinion: Building a war-crimes case against Vladimir Putin

As the Russian President’s terrible war in Ukraine presses on, proving command responsibility will be essential to justice being done → Read More

Putin has a history of atrocities. Just how far will Russian forces go in Ukraine?

We have already seen indiscriminate use of cluster munitions, and the firing of ballistic missiles and rocket artillery, says Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch → Read More

World Report 2022: Rights Trends in Mali

Human rights and security deteriorated in Mali in 2021 as abuses by armed Islamist groups spiked, a political crisis deepened, and impunity for past and ongoing atrocities by all armed groups persisted. Mali’s transition to civilian rule following the 2020 military coup suffered a setback after another coup in May, the third in under 10 years. → Read More

9/11 Unleashed a Global Storm of Human Rights Abuses

The September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States were foremost a tragedy for the nearly 3,000 victims and their families. Compounding this tragedy, the horror of the attacks spawned an abusive reaction that reverberates to this day. → Read More

How to Safely Evacuate Afghans at Risk Before It's Too Late

Several military aircraft from NATO countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, have flown out of Kabul in recent days with only a handful of passengers. → Read More

How to safely evacuate Afghans at risk before it's too late

The U.S., NATO and other allies should urgently reach a common position on the evacuation of at-risk Afghans— here are the most important steps for them to take. → Read More

The Age of Zombie Democracies

Over the past decade, autocrats around the world have perfected the technique of “managed” or “guided” democracy. In Belarus, Egypt, Russia, Uganda, Venezuela, and elsewhere, authoritarian leaders have held periodic elections to enhance their legitimacy but monopolized the media, restricted civil society, and manipulated state institutions and resources to ensure that they remained in power. → Read More

It's Time to Update the U.S. Approach to Israeli Rights Abuses

President Joe Biden has shown a remarkable capacity to change with the times, but when it came to the recent armed conflict between Israeli and Hamas forces, he often seemed to be pressing "rewind" and "play" on an old reel-to-reel tape recorder. The welcome ceasefire provides an opportunity to re-examine this outdated approach. → Read More


Opinion: The last chance to save Alexey Navalny

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, writes that Western leaders must make it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the fate of opposition leader Alexey Navalny is in the Kremlin's hands. → Read More

Navalny Persecution Just the Tip of the Russian Crackdown

The Kremlin undoubtedly hopes that by packing Alexei Navalny off to prison, it will keep him out of sight, out of mind. Yet Navalny’s many social-media-savvy followers make that unlikely. A growing movement of people discontented with corruption, economic stagnation, and the Kremlin’s autocratic rule means that a political opposition will persist even without Navalny. → Read More

Olympic Snow Shouldn't Cover China's Repression

The snow will undoubtedly be deep for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, but that doesn't mean we should let Beijing use the Olympics to do a snow job on us and whitewash its abysmal human rights record. → Read More

Op-Ed: Think of Biden's immigration plan as a statute of limitations on crossing the border illegally

The government sets limits on prosecuting crimes and civil infractions. Congress should do the same for longtime U.S. residents who are American in all ways except their papers. → Read More

Biden's Next Steps on Human Rights: Multilateral Institutions

The United States government's decision to "reengage" with the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council is a big step toward the multilateral support for human rights that President Joe Biden promised in his major foreign policy speech. Yet key details remain to be worked out for how the Biden administration will engage with the council. → Read More

A Human Rights Review of Biden's Foreign Policy Speech

After four years of watching former US President Donald Trump cozy up to friendly autocrats, it was heartening to hear President Joe Biden vow to stand up for democracy and human rights around the world. → Read More

Biden Can’t Make Washington a Beacon for Human Rights by Returning to Business as Usual

The world stepped up while the United States stepped back from defending human rights. The next US president should join them. → Read More