(London) - The Spanish diplomat and politician Javier Solana, the Pakistani human rights activist Hina Jilani, and the Japanese investment banker and entrepreneur Oki Matsumoto have joined Human Rights Watch's board of directors, Human Rights Watch said today.

"We're delighted that such extraordinarily accomplished people are joining in our work to investigate and expose human rights abuses around the globe," said James F. Hoge Jr., chair of Human Rights Watch's Board of Directors. "As we pressure governments to protect the rights of all, we will benefit greatly from their counsel and their influence."

Javier Solana, president of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, spent 10 years as the European Union's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. As secretary-general of NATO, he negotiated the NATO-Russia Founding Act and presided over the establishment of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Prior to that, he held several ministerial positions in the Spanish government, including minister of foreign affairs.

Hina Jilani is a well-known lawyer and human-rights activist in Pakistan, and a founder of the nongovernmental Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and of the Women's Action Forum. From 2000 to 2008, she was the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders, and in 2006, she was appointed to the UN International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur.  In 2009, she joined the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Gaza.

Oki Matsumoto is the CEO and founder of Monex Group, Inc., a major online financial services group, and helped to launch Human Rights Watch's Tokyo office in 2009. He currently serves as an external board member of the Tokyo Stock Exchange Group, Inc., Shinsei Bank, Ltd, and Kakaku.com, Inc. He has also held various public positions including a member of Board of Governors of Japan Securities Dealers Association.

Human Rights Watch is one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights around the globe, with a staff of 280 working in dozens of countries.