FIDH welcomes acquittal in Kolmar Group defamation trial as a step towards justice

Robbie Vize / Creative Commons

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is among more than 20 non-governmental organisations that have united to welcome a court decision to acquit the three individual authors of a report alleging that Kolmar Group AG may have violated international law upon purchasing fuel from an international smuggling network at the height of the second Libyan civil war.

21 February 2024. FIDH welcomes news of the acquittal by the District Court of Bern-Mittelland (Switzerland) of the three authors of a report published by the NGOs Public Eye and TRIAL International in 2020 and titled Libyan fuel smuggling: a Swiss trader sailing through troubled waters.

FIDH is one of the several organisations in the CASE coalition and Corporate Crimes Network signing a statement on the judgement. Kolmar’s criminal case is the latest instance of Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) that seeks to intimidate and silence civil society and critical voices from the legitimate exercise of their right to freedom of expression, which protects reporting on corporate human rights abuses.

Following today’s news, Kolmar should stop inhibiting the work of human rights defenders, including by not appealing the verdict and withdrawing the related civil lawsuit.

Read the full letter below.

Read more