Human Rights Watch advocate Cynthia Brown dead at 60

Reuters News
Posted: May 16, 2013 11:26 PM

(Reuters) - Cynthia Brown, who played a key role for Human Rights Watch for almost two decades, has died after a battle with cancer, the global advocacy group said. She was 60 years old.

Brown, who joined the organization in 1982 as a researcher and became program director in 1993, died Sunday in New York City, Human Rights Watch said on its website.

"She was principled and uncompromising — and played a big part in making Human Rights Watch that way," Kenneth Roth, the group's executive director, said in a statement.

"Cynthia could be tough as nails, and plenty intimidating, but once you got to know her she had a warmth and empathy that made her a great friend and clearly informed her passion for the human rights cause," Roth said.

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Brown served six years as the group's program director. She left the staff in 1999 but remained as an adviser and a member of the organization's policy committee and its advisory committee for women's rights.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Paul Simao)