(Berlin, April 28, 2005) – The opening of a new office in Berlin will enable Human Rights Watch to intensify advocacy on key human rights issues both in Germany and around the world.

“Germany’s voice and influence are needed in trouble spots around the world,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “The German government has become an important international player in defending global human rights, but its reach still falls short of its potential.”

Human Rights Watch will receive the 2005 Theodor-Heuss Prize in Stuttgart on Friday which Roth will accept for the organization. In explaining its decision to award its highest honor to Human Rights Watch, the Theodor-Heuss Foundation said: “[T]he hallmark of Human Rights Watch is the even-handedness and credibility of its reporting.”

Human Rights Watch is one of the leading international human rights groups. Its researchers conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions of the world. Recent investigations have documented sexual violence against Darfurian refugees, politically compromised HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, religious repression in Xinjiang, China, and command responsibility for U.S. abuse of detainees. Human Rights Watch regularly meets with government officials to urge changes in policy and practice, at the United Nations, the European Union, and in capitals around the world.

Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.

The German website of Human Rights Watch can be found at www.hrw.org/german.