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Human Rights Watch advocate Cynthia Brown dead at 60

(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.

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)