Fortify Rights is one of several fronts posing as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) operating across Asia.
Such fronts are in actuality extensions of US and European “soft power.” Fully funded by the US, British and various European governments as well as US and European corporate foundations like convicted financial criminal George Soros’ Open Society, Fortify Rights positions itself as self-appointed arbiter regarding human rights, democracy and the rule of law at the heart of the sovereign internal political affairs of nations like Myanmar (still called Burma by many Western media organisations and politicians), Thailand, Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Human Rights Org Partners with State Sponsor of Terrorism…
Recently, Fortify Rights’ founder American Matthew Smith announced a new and “exciting” partnership with Doha Debates. Doha Debates is a project of the Qatar Foundation which in turn was founded by the Al Thani family, the unelected rulers of Qatar, a notorious Middle Eastern dictatorship, abuser of human rights and state sponsor of terrorism.
The “exciting” partnership between Fortify Rights (a supposed human rights advocacy group) and the Qatari front “Doha Debates” is particularly troubling considering the area of cooperation involves Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority.
On Doha Debates’ website it describes its partnership with Fortify Rights:
Together, Fortify Rights and Doha Debates are training a group of Rohingya refugees on the basics of photography and Instagram, and we are equipping them with mobile phones to document their lives in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, for an entire year. Through this partnership, Fortify Rights and Doha Debates hope to empower Rohingya refugees to share their stories with the world.
Despite the relatively benign stated nature of this partnership, it is troubling because it signals a possible vector through which money, training and even weapons can pass, behind a “human rights’ façade, inflaming already tense ethnic troubles in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.
At the very least, influence operations by Fortify Rights and Qatar’s “Doha Debates” could be used to further divide communities along ethnic lines while mounting pressure on Myanmar’s government and military by exploiting the resulting chaos.
Fortify Rights founder Matthew Smith refused to respond to questions of how his supposed cause of advancing human rights is served by partnering with Doha Debates funded by a dictatorship and notorious state sponsor of terrorism.