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<div class="entry-date"><font color="#cc0000"><big><b><i>(At least this
discredits them once again. Reforms are hardly the point! - Ed)</i></b></big></font><br>
<br>
May 14, 2014<br>
<b><small><a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/14/human-rights-watchs-revolving-door-to-us-government/">http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/14/human-rights-watchs-revolving-door-to-us-government/</a></small></b><br>
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<div class="subheadlinestyle"><b><big><big>A Letter from Nobel Peace
Laureates</big></big></b></div>
<h1 class="article-title">Human Rights Watch’s Revolving Door to US
Government</h1>
<div class="mainauthorstyle">by ALFREDO PEREZ ESQUIVEL and MAIREAD
MAGUIRE</div>
<div class="main-text"><big> </big>
<p dir="ltr"><big><em>The following letter was sent this week to Human
Rights Watch’s Kenneth Roth on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant
Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on
Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100
scholars.</em></big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>Dear Kenneth Roth,</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>Human Rights Watch <a href="http://www.hrw.org/about"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.hrw.org']);"
 target="_blank">characterizes itself</a> as “one of the world’s
leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting
human rights.” However, HRW’s close ties to the U.S. government call
into question its independence.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>For example, HRW’s Washington advocacy director, Tom
Malinowski, previously <a
 href="http://web.archive.org/web/20120401220538/http://www.hrw.org/en/bios/tom-malinowski"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://web.archive.org']);"
 target="_blank">served</a> as a special assistant to President Bill
Clinton and as a speechwriter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
In 2013, he left HRW after being <a
 href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/post/white-house-taps-tom-malinowski-for-human-rights-post/2013/07/09/1395416e-e8a3-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211_blog.html"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.washingtonpost.com']);"
 target="_blank">nominated</a> as Assistant Secretary of State for
Democracy, Human Rights & Labor under John Kerry.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>In her HRW.org biography, Board of Directors’ Vice
Chair Susan Manilow <a href="http://www.hrw.org/bios/susan-manilow"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.hrw.org']);"
 target="_blank">describes</a> herself as “a longtime friend to Bill
Clinton” who is “highly involved” in his political party, and “has
hosted dozens of events” for the Democratic National Committee.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>Currently, HRW Americas’ <a
 href="http://www.hrw.org/node/105587"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.hrw.org']);"
 target="_blank">advisory committee</a> includes Myles Frechette, a <a
 href="http://web.gc.cuny.edu/bildnercenter/events/2003.03.31.1.shtml"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://web.gc.cuny.edu']);"
 target="_blank">former</a> U.S.<a
 href="http://waysandmeans.house.gov/legacy/trade/107cong/5-8-01/record/napbc.htm"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://waysandmeans.house.gov']);"
 target="_blank">ambassador</a> to Colombia, and Michael Shifter, <a
 href="http://www.ned.org/research/research-council/michael-shifter"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.ned.org']);"
 target="_blank">one-time Latin America director</a> for the U.S.
government-financed National Endowment for Democracy. Miguel Díaz, a
Central Intelligence Agency analyst in the 1990s, sat on HRW Americas’
advisory committee from <a
 href="http://web.archive.org/web/20030813103615/http://www.hrw.org/about/info/board.html"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://web.archive.org']);"
 target="_blank">2003</a>-<a
 href="http://web.archive.org/web/20110501152051/http://www.hrw.org/en/node/76172#_Americas"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://web.archive.org']);"
 target="_blank">11</a>. Now at the <a
 href="http://careers.state.gov/ff/meet-the-fellows/franklin-fellows/miguel-diaz"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://careers.state.gov']);"
 target="_blank">State Department</a>, Díaz <a
 href="http://www.worldpittsburgh.org/programsCalendarListDetail.jsp?restrictids=nu_repeatitemid&restrictvalues=0500280840951363019236777"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.worldpittsburgh.org']);"
 target="_blank">serves</a> as “an interlocutor between the
intelligence community and non-government experts.”</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>In his capacity as an HRW advocacy director,
Malinowski <a
 href="http://articles.latimes.com/2009/feb/01/nation/na-rendition1"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://articles.latimes.com']);"
 target="_blank">contended</a> in 2009 that “under limited
circumstances” there was “a legitimate place” for CIA renditions—the <a
 href="https://www.aclu.org/national-security/fact-sheet-extraordinary-rendition"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.aclu.org']);"
 target="_blank">illegal</a> <a
 href="http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/03/10/63693/un-report-says-us-rendition-policy.html"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.mcclatchydc.com']);"
 target="_blank">practice</a> of kidnapping and transferring terrorism
suspects around the planet. Malinowski was quoted<a
 href="http://articles.latimes.com/2009/feb/01/nation/na-rendition1"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://articles.latimes.com']);"
 target="_blank">paraphrasing</a> the U.S. government’s argument that
designing an alternative to sending suspects to “foreign dungeons to be
tortured” was “going to take some time.”</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>HRW has not <a
 href="http://nacla.org/news/2014/2/4/hypocrisy-human-rights-watch"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://nacla.org']);"
 target="_blank">extended</a> similar consideration to <a
 href="http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4051"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://venezuelanalysis.com']);"
 target="_blank">Venezuela</a>. In a 2012 <a
 href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/11/09/letter-president-chavez-venezuelas-candidacy-un-human-rights-council"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.hrw.org']);"
 target="_blank">letter</a> to President Chávez, HRW criticized the
country’s candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council, alleging that
Venezuela had fallen “far short of acceptable standards” and
questioning its “ability to serve as a credible voice on human rights.”
At no point has <a
 href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/CurrentMembers.aspx"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.ohchr.org']);"
 target="_blank">U.S. membership</a> in the same council merited
censure from HRW, despite Washington’s <a
 href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.nytimes.com']);"
 target="_blank">secret, global assassination program</a>, its <a
 href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=all"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.nytimes.com']);"
 target="_blank">preservation</a> of <a
 href="http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/reports/globalizing-torture-cia-secret-detention-and-extraordinary-rendition"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org']);"
 target="_blank">renditions</a>, and its <a
 href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/25/guantanamo-bay-and-indefinite-detention-hunger-strike-continues"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.hrw.org']);"
 target="_blank">illegal detention</a> of individuals at Guantánamo Bay.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>Likewise, in February 2013, HRW correctly described
as “<a
 href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/26/syria-unlawful-missile-attacks-kill-more-140"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.hrw.org']);"
 target="_blank">unlawful</a>” Syria’s use of missiles in its civil
war. However, HRW <a
 href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/08/30/dispatches-syria-protecting-civilians-should-be-top-priority"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.hrw.org']);"
 target="_blank">remained silent</a> on the clear <a
 href="http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/11/chomsky_instead_of_illegal_threat_to"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.democracynow.org']);"
 target="_blank">violation</a> of international law constituted by the
U.S. threat of missile strikes on Syria in August.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>The few examples above, limited to only recent
history, might be forgiven as inconsistencies or oversights that could
naturally occur in any large, busy organization. But HRW’s close
relationships with the U.S. government suffuse such instances with the
appearance of a conflict of interest.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>We therefore encourage you to institute immediate,
concrete measures to strongly assert HRW’s independence. Closing what
seems to be a revolving door would be a reasonable first step: Bar
those who have crafted or executed U.S. foreign policy from serving as
HRW staff, advisors or board members. At a bare minimum, mandate
lengthy “cooling-off” periods before and after any associate moves
between HRW and that arm of the government.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p dir="ltr"><big>Your largest donor, investor George Soros, <a
 href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/business/07gift.html"
 onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.nytimes.com']);"
 target="_blank">argued</a> in 2010 that “to be more effective, I think
the organization has to be seen as more international, less an American
organization.” We concur. We urge you to implement the aforementioned
proposal to ensure a reputation for genuine independence.</big></p>
<big></big>
<p><big>Sincerely,</big></p>
<big></big>
<ol>
  <li><big>Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate</big></li>
  <li><big>Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize laureate</big></li>
  <li><big>Joel Andreas, Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins
University</big></li>
  <li><big>Antony Anghie, Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of
Law, University of Utah</big></li>
  <li><big>John M. Archer, Professor of English, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Asma Barlas, Professor of Politics, Director of the Center
for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, Ithaca College</big></li>
  <li><big>Rosalyn Baxandall, Professor Emeritus of American Studies,
State University of New York-Old Westbury</big></li>
  <li><big>Marc Becker, Professor of Latin American History, Truman
State University</big></li>
  <li><big>Jason A. Beckett, Professor of Law, American University in
Cairo</big></li>
  <li><big>Angélica Bernal, Professor of Political Science, University
of Massachusetts-Amherst</big></li>
  <li><big>Keane Bhatt, activist, writer</big></li>
  <li><big>William Blum, author, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA
Interventions Since World War II</big></li>
  <li><big>Audrey Bomse, Co-chair, National Lawyers Guild Palestine
Subcommittee</big></li>
  <li><big>Patrick Bond, Professor of Development Studies, Director of
the Centre for Civil Society, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban</big></li>
  <li><big>Michael Brenner, Professor Emeritus of International
Affairs, University of Pittsburgh</big></li>
  <li><big>Jean Bricmont, Professor of Theoretical Physics, University
of Louvain; author, Humanitarian Imperialism</big></li>
  <li><big>Renate Bridenthal, Professor Emerita of History, Brooklyn
College, CUNY</big></li>
  <li><big>Fernando Buen Abad Domínguez, Ph.D., author</big></li>
  <li><big>Paul Buhle, Professor Emeritus of American Civilization,
Brown University</big></li>
  <li><big>David Camfield, Professor of Labour Studies, University of
Manitoba</big></li>
  <li><big>Leonard L. Cavise, Professor of Law, DePaul College of Law</big></li>
  <li><big>Robert Chernomas, Professor of Economics, University of
Manitoba</big></li>
  <li><big>Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History, Salem State University</big></li>
  <li><big>George Ciccariello-Maher, Professor of Political Science,
Drexel University</big></li>
  <li><big>Jeff Cohen, Associate Professor of Journalism, Ithaca College</big></li>
  <li><big>Marjorie Cohn, Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of
Law</big></li>
  <li><big>Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New
York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Carolyn Eisenberg, Professor of History, Hofstra University</big></li>
  <li><big>Matthew Evangelista, Professor of History and Political
Science, Cornell University</big></li>
  <li><big>Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law,
Princeton University</big></li>
  <li><big>Sujatha Fernandes, Professor of Sociology, Queens College,
CUNY Graduate Center</big></li>
  <li><big>Mara Fridell, Professor of Sociology, University of Manitoba</big></li>
  <li><big>Frances Geteles, Professor Emeritus, Department of Special
Programs, CUNY City College</big></li>
  <li><big>Lesley Gill, Professor of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University</big></li>
  <li><big>Piero Gleijeses, Professor of American Foreign Policy and
Latin American Studies, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns
Hopkins University</big></li>
  <li><big>Jeff Goodwin, Professor of Sociology, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Katherine Gordy, Professor of Political Science, San
Francisco State University</big></li>
  <li><big>Manu Goswami, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Simon Granovsky-Larsen, Professor of Latin American Studies,
Centennial College, Toronto</big></li>
  <li><big>James N. Green, Professor of Latin American History, Brown
University</big></li>
  <li><big>A. Tom Grunfeld, Professor of History, SUNY Empire State
College</big></li>
  <li><big>Julie Guard, Professor of Labor Studies, University of
Manitoba</big></li>
  <li><big>Peter Hallward, Professor of Philosophy, Kingston
University; author, Damming the Flood</big></li>
  <li><big>John L. Hammond, Professor of Sociology, Hunter College,
CUNY Graduate Center</big></li>
  <li><big>Beth Harris, Professor of Politics, Ithaca College</big></li>
  <li><big>Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor Economics, Lewis and Clark
College</big></li>
  <li><big>Chris Hedges, journalist; author, War Is a Force That Gives
Us Meaning</big></li>
  <li><big>Doug Henwood, journalist; author, Wall Street</big></li>
  <li><big>Edward Herman, Professor Emeritus of Finance, University of
Pennsylvania; co-author, The Political Economy of Human Rights</big></li>
  <li><big>Susan Heuman, Ph.D., independent scholar of history</big></li>
  <li><big>Forrest Hylton, Lecturer in History & Literature,
Harvard University</big></li>
  <li><big>Matthew Frye Jacobson, Professor of American Studies and
History, Yale University</big></li>
  <li><big>Jennifer Jolly, Co-coordinator of Latin American Studies,
Ithaca College</big></li>
  <li><big>Rebecca E. Karl, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Professor of Anthropology and American
Studies, Wesleyan University</big></li>
  <li><big>Ari Kelman, Professor of History, University of California,
Davis</big></li>
  <li><big>Arang Keshavarzian, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic
Studies, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Laleh Khalili, Professor of Middle East Politics, School of
Oriental and African Studies, University of London</big></li>
  <li><big>Daniel Kovalik, Professor of International Human Rights,
University of Pittsburgh School of Law</big></li>
  <li><big>Rob Kroes, Professor Emeritus of American Studies,
University of Amsterdam</big></li>
  <li><big>Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University</big></li>
  <li><big>Deborah T. Levenson, Professor of History, Boston College</big></li>
  <li><big>David Ludden, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Catherine Lutz, Professor of Anthropology and International
Studies, Brown University</big></li>
  <li><big>Arthur MacEwan, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University
of Massachusetts-Boston</big></li>
  <li><big>Viviana MacManus, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies,
University of Maryland, Baltimore County</big></li>
  <li><big>Chase Madar, civil rights attorney; author, The Passion of
[Chelsea] Manning</big></li>
  <li><big>Alfred W. McCoy, Professor of History, University of
Wisconsin-Madison</big></li>
  <li><big>Teresa Meade, Professor of History, Union College</big></li>
  <li><big>Thomas Murphy, Professor of History and Government,
University of Maryland, University College Europe</big></li>
  <li><big>Allan Nairn, independent investigative journalist</big></li>
  <li><big>Usha Natarajan, Professor of International Law, American
University in Cairo</big></li>
  <li><big>Diane M. Nelson, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke
University</big></li>
  <li><big>Joseph Nevins, Professor of Geography, Vassar College</big></li>
  <li><big>Mary Nolan, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Anthony O’Brien, Professor Emeritus of English, Queens
College, CUNY</big></li>
  <li><big>Paul O’Connell, Reader in Law, School of Law, School of
Oriental and African Studies, University of London</big></li>
  <li><big>Christian Parenti, Professor of Sustainable Development,
School for International Training Graduate Institute</big></li>
  <li><big>David Peterson, independent writer and researcher</big></li>
  <li><big>Adrienne Pine, Professor of Anthropology, American University</big></li>
  <li><big>Claire Potter, Professor of History, The New School</big></li>
  <li><big>Margaret Power, Professor of History, Illinois Institute of
Technology</big></li>
  <li><big>Pablo Pozzi, Professor of History, Universidad de Buenos
Aires</big></li>
  <li><big>Gyan Prakash, Professor of History, Princeton University</big></li>
  <li><big>Vijay Prashad, Edward Said Chair of American Studies,
American University of Beirut</big></li>
  <li><big>Peter Ranis, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, CUNY
Graduate Center</big></li>
  <li><big>Michael Ratner, human rights attorney; author, The
Prosecution of Donald Rumsfeld</big></li>
  <li><big>Sanjay Reddy, Professor of Economics, New School for Social
Research</big></li>
  <li><big>Adolph Reed, Jr., Professor of Political Science, University
of Pennsylvania</big></li>
  <li><big>Nazih Richani, Director of Latin American Studies, Kean
University</big></li>
  <li><big>Moss Roberts, Professor of Chinese, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Corey Robin, Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn
College, CUNY Graduate Center</big></li>
  <li><big>William I. Robinson, Professor of Sociology, University of
California, Santa Barbara</big></li>
  <li><big>Patricia Rodriguez, Professor of Politics, Ithaca College</big></li>
  <li><big>Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New
York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Elizabeth Sanders, Professor of Government, Cornell
University</big></li>
  <li><big>Dean Saranillio, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis,
New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>T.M. Scruggs, Professor Emeritus of Music, University of Iowa</big></li>
  <li><big>Ian J. Seda-Irizarry, Professor of Political Economy, John
Jay College of Criminal Justice</big></li>
  <li><big>Denise A. Segura, Professor of Sociology; Chair, Department
of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara</big></li>
  <li><big>Mark Selden, Senior Research Associate, East Asia Program,
Cornell University</big></li>
  <li><big>Falguni A. Sheth, Professor of Philosophy and Political
Theory, Hampshire College</big></li>
  <li><big>Naoko Shibusawa, Professor of History, Brown University</big></li>
  <li><big>Dina M. Siddiqi, Professor of Anthropology, BRAC University,
Dhaka, Bangladesh</big></li>
  <li><big>Francisco Sierra Caballero, Director of the Center for
Communication, Politics and Social Change, University of Seville</big></li>
  <li><big>Brad Simpson, Professor of History, University of Connecticut</big></li>
  <li><big>Nikhil Pal Singh, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis
and History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Leslie Sklair, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, London
School of Economics</big></li>
  <li><big>Norman Solomon, author, War Made Easy</big></li>
  <li><big>Judy Somberg, Chair, National Lawyers Guild Task Force on
the Americas</big></li>
  <li><big>Jeb Sprague, author, Paramilitarism and the Assault on
Democracy in Haiti</big></li>
  <li><big>Oliver Stone, filmmaker; co-author, The Untold History of
the United States</big></li>
  <li><big>Steve Striffler, Professor of Anthropology, Chair of Latin
American Studies, University of New Orleans</big></li>
  <li><big>Sinclair Thomson, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor of History and Latin American
Studies, Pomona College</big></li>
  <li><big>James S. Uleman, Professor of Psychology, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Alejandro Velasco, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Robert Vitalis, Professor of Political Science, University
of Pennsylvania</big></li>
  <li><big>Hans Christof von Sponeck, former United Nations Assistant
Secretary General (1998-2000)</big></li>
  <li><big>Hilbourne Watson, Professor Emeritus of International
Relations, Bucknell University</big></li>
  <li><big>Barbara Weinstein, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Mark Weisbrot, Ph.D., Co-director, Center for Economic and
Policy Research</big></li>
  <li><big>Kirsten Weld, Professor of History, Harvard University</big></li>
  <li><big>Gregory Wilpert, Ph.D, author, Changing Venezuela by Taking
Power</big></li>
  <li><big>John Womack, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Latin American
History and Economics, Harvard University</big></li>
  <li><big>Michael Yates, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University
of Pittsburgh at Johnstown</big></li>
  <li><big>Kevin Young, Ph.D., Latin American History, State University
of New York-Stony Brook</big></li>
  <li><big>Marilyn B. Young, Professor of History, New York University</big></li>
  <li><big>Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, Professor of History;
Co-Director, South Asian Studies, Brown University</big></li>
  <li><big>Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Coordinator of
Middle Eastern Studies, University of San Francisco</big></li>
</ol>
<big></big></div>
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