Fact-check: Dubious human rights organisation promotes Imran Khan’s PTI

The organisation created much buzz in Pakistan this year after it inexplicably began promoting Imran Khan’s political party.

Geo Fact-Check

An unknown “non-profit” organisation, which claims to be advocating for human rights across the world, has recently taken a keen interest in promoting former prime minister Imran Khan’s political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The International Human Rights Foundation (IHRF) alleges that it is an international non-governmental organisation working since 2004, “committed to the achievement, broadcasting and teaching of human rights,” states its Twitter bio.

But in these two decades, the IHRF has undergone various transformations, including frequently changing its name and location.

Neither its website nor its board of trustees offer any clarity on where the organisation is registered, what it does or how it is funded? Yet, it continues to masquerade as a human rights group fooling media outlets and social media users.

The organisation created much buzz in Pakistan this year after it inexplicably began promoting Imran Khan’s political party, as well as journalists, politicians and television anchors considered close to Khan, a move that is seen as at odds with other human rights organisations which remain apolitical.

Discrepancies in its address

On its website, the IHRF lists its address as: “35 W 31st Street Frnt 1, New York, NY 10001, USA.” However, Google indicates the location instead be a FedEx shipping centre in New York.

There are other inconsistencies as well.

In 2009, the IHRF went by the name “Derechos Humanos” on Twitter and claimed to be based in Geneva, Switzerland. While its website was registered in Spain.

Then in 2011, it rechristened itself, altering its location to “worldwide”. The webpage also changed to one registered in India, (fundacion.in).

In 2019, it again renamed itself. This time calling itself the “International Foundation for Human Rights”, which was located in Spain, Brussel and Mexico. It further provided a Spanish phone number (+34910053022) on its Twitter bio.

Now, it has settled on the name the “International Human Rights Foundation”, located in New York, United States.

International reach

As per the IHRF’s website, the organisation opened up operations in 2004 and is present in 15 countries. However, on its web portal it only lists nine countries, where it claims it has representatives. No address or contact details of the offices are provided.

Not only that, there is no information on the website of ongoing or completed human rights projects, funding, audit reports, donors, partners and any research work undertaken by the organisation.

On its web page, the IHRF also asks for donations without specifying which project the funds will go to.


It is unclear in which country the NGO is registered. There is however an organisation by the same name registered in India, whose director is listed as “Trushal Harish Chawda”.

However, it could not be independently verified if the two NGOs are connected or simply share a name.

For additional information, Geo Fact Check reached out to Maria Claudia Cambi, listed as IHRF’s president, Edgardo Gabriel Abramovich, the vice president, and Farid Othman-Bentria, a member of the board of trustees. None responded to queries about the organisation and its work.

Geo Fact Check also called on the US number listed on the website. No one answered.

The team then sent queries on the IHRF’s Whatsapp number but only received the following response: “You are contacting the International Human Rights Foundation. We read absolutely all messages, although we may take some time to respond. We suggest taking technical measures to preserve your online privacy. How can we help you?”

There has been no follow up till the filling of this report.

Social media and interest in Pakistan

On Twitter, the organisation has a verified handle, @Declaracion, and over 800,000 followers. It joined Twitter in October 2009. Yet, one of its first tweets about Pakistan was posted on August 14, 2022.

In the tweet, it congratulated the people of Pakistan on the 75th anniversary of their independence.

The second time it tweeted about Pakistan was on August 21. On the day, it chose to reply to the PTI’s official Twitter account, after a speech of former prime minister, and PTI chairman, Imran Khan was streamed online.

Fact-check: Dubious human rights organisation promotes Imran Khan’s PTI

Under the tweet, the IHRF wrote that it “respectfully listened” to Khan’s speech and then thanked a social media user named, Ali Malik, for the invitation. Malik identifies himself as a supporter of Khan and video blogger on social media.

Thereafter, the majority of its tweets regarding Pakistan have been political, with particular reference to one political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

In some tweets, it has directly tagged PTI’s official Twitter account and its office bearers. In others, it has promoted news articles about Imran Khan, as well as the telethon he held to collect donations for flood survivors in Pakistan.

The IHRF also routinely tweets support for the following journalists and TV anchors: Arshad Sharif, Imran Riaz Khan and Jameel Farooqui and PTI politicians, namely Haleem Adil and Shahbaz Gill.

No such tweets have been made till now for politicians from other political parties.

In one tweet, the organisation condemned the sacking of anchor, Arshad Sharif, and wrote that he has “proven to be a good professional, a critical citizen and intellectually honest person.” It later promoted Sharif’s YouTube channel, asking people to “see and subscribe”.

Fact-check: Dubious human rights organisation promotes Imran Khan’s PTI

Fact-check: Dubious human rights organisation promotes Imran Khan’s PTI
Fact-check: Dubious human rights organisation promotes Imran Khan’s PTI

Between August 14 to September 12, the IHRF has tweeted about Pakistan 45 times, of which 33 tweets have been directly about the PTI or the above-mentioned media personalities.

Recently, the purported human rights organisation even held an online survey asking people to vote that “if there were an election today [in Pakistan] which party would you vote for?” The options included PTI, PML-N and PPP.

It also later added a note that it will include the right-wing Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan in its next survey.

Fact-check: Dubious human rights organisation promotes Imran Khan’s PTI

More recently, the alleged human rights organisation accused the government of Pakistan of generating “lies”. While in a separate tweet it blamed the prime minister of Pakistan of imposing a “dictatorship” in the country.

Geo Fact Check has, to date, found nothing to suggest that the IHRF is an authentic human rights advocacy group. 

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