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Kenneth Roth - Human Rights Watch: How We Can Stop China From Abusing Human Freedom

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Kenneth Roth is an American attorney, former federal prosecutor and the executive director of Human Rights Watch.

One of the world’s leading international human rights organisations, Kenneth joined Human Rights Watch in 1987, and over the last four decades he has helped the organisation grow eight fold.

With over 450 people in 100 countries, he investigates and reports on the rights abuses happening all over the globe.

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Executive Director of Human Rights Watch​

Prior to this, Kenneth Roth was a graduate of both Yale & Brown University and has written extensively on a myriad of human rights abuses, including but not exclusively to issues of international justice, counterterrorism and the work of the United Nations.

Kenneth also served as a federal prosecutor in New York and for the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington, DC.

In 1997 Kenneth was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for helping bring about the Mine Ban Treaty. He’s documented war crimes in Bosnia, Iraq, and Sierra Leone and done extensive work on trying to help child soldiers.

Shining a Light on Human Rights Abusers

I absolutely loved my conversation with Kenneth Roth. He’s an incredible guy, with nerves of steel and he’s dedicated his life to make sure human rights abuses are not overlooked and that justice prevails.

We went deep on the human rights issues in China, Syria and Yemen. We also talked about what is going on with the Trump administration and the wall and what his organisation is flagging as abuses of power.

Kenneth has some really intense stories about the atrocities civilians are facing in some of these places, and though it was hard to hear at times, I still think it’s important that these stories get out there.

I found what Kenneth has to say fascinating and I know you will too, so pay close attention.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The Chinese Communist Party, pacifism, and the Coronavirus
  • SARS, Xi Jinping, and the Social Credit System
  • Russia, Tibet, and the Geneva Convention
  • Syria, Myanmar, and the U.N. General Assembly
  • The suppression of Hong Kong protesters and Ai Weiwei
  • Syrian refugees, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange
  • Vladimir Putin, Erdoğan, and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen
  • Israel, Donald Trump, and undocumented immigration


00:00 | Trailer.
02:37 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:01 | Brian’s introduction.
04:44 | Kenneth Roth had interesting conversation with Ai Weiwei in London.
08:01 | How the Coronavirus shows the world the human rights issues in China.
11:29 | Muslims undergoing forced re-education and the comprehensive surveillance in China.
17:09 | The West is beginning to recognize the dangers of facial recognition.
20:13 | The threat the Chinese Government is posing to the entire human rights system.
28:08 | China may not be able to maintain its economic policy and meet its people’s expectations.
30:07 | Why the Chinese Government is fearful of the protests in Hong Kong.
32:49 | How Kenneth Roth feels when his entry to a country is blocked.
36:50 | Human Rights Watch agrees with the need for trade with China but with provisos.
41:05 | Putin and Assad are notorious for medical care
44:26 | Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince portrays himself as a social reformer, but only at his dictation.
45:30 | Yemen has the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, influenced by Saudi Crown Prince.
48:11 | Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan is just a Netanyahu wish list, it’s a human rights disaster.
50:20 | Immigration and criminal justice is focus of Human Rights Watch’s largest programme.
55:05 | How climate change can also be seen as a human rights issue.
57:39 | What Human Rights Watch does for whistle blowers like Julian Assange, Edward Snowdon and Glen Greenwald.
1:02:03 | The history of human rights as a concept,
1:03:57 | How Kenneth Roth became interested in human rights.
1:06:03 | How technology helps and hinders our human rights and how Human Rights Watch interacts with it.
1:12:26 | The world’s autocrats who are currently Kenneth Roth’s biggest concern.
1:17:50 | Is Kenneth Roth optimistic for the future of human rights?
1:20:04 | Kenneth continues to enjoy the battle for human rights and remains positive.
1:21:03 | Success secrets.
1:21:42 | Brian’s summing up.


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