FIDH: Smear campaigns will not derail our work in support of victims of international crimes

12/05/2020
Press release

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) takes note of a number of recent articles based on a political report attempting to discredit its work and mandate, and that of its member organisations and partners, particularly in the context of its work to support victims of atrocity crimes in Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan and beyond. FIDH was established as a federation in 1922 and today brings together 192 human rights organisations from 117 countries, including many of the organisations attacked in the report, namely the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Al-Haq, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al Mezan and Al-Dameer.

For nearly a century, FIDH has been committed to defending human rights worldwide and to advocating for the rights of all victims of human rights violations and international crimes to truth, justice and reparation.
FIDH’s work is non-partisan, non-sectarian, apolitical and non-profit.

FIDH’s work is firmly rooted in international law and guided by the principles that no one is above the law, that the rights to justice and dignity apply to all equally, and that accountability is a key ingredient for any society to move forward towards peace and reconciliation. Our mandate towards victims—thousands of whom we represent and advocate for domestically, regionally and internationally—is at the heart of our commitment. It is for them that our organisation will continue its fight for justice and the rule of law. Intimidation attempts and smear campaigns will not deter us from supporting human rights defenders and civil society organisations to achieve these goals.

Attacks against human rights defenders, civil society and accountability mechanisms is not a new trend. For decades, FIDH has witnessed attacks against its civil society membership by oppressive governments who seek to obstruct their fight for human rights, truth and accountability. Imprisonment, travel bans, office raids, smear campaigns, funding barriers and personal threats have been deployed against our member organisations, who continue to carry out their work independently and with great professionalism and impartiality. FIDH condemns any such attacks, and will continue to amplify the voices and work of its member organisations.

FIDH renews its support for the mandate of the International Criminal Court (ICC), an institution which, for thousands of victims, represents their last resort to justice. The mandate of the Court and the principles underpinning it, including independence and impartiality, has been recognised by 123 countries who are parties to its founding treaty, the Rome Statute. FIDH calls upon these states to remain steadfast in their support to the Court and to firmly denounce any attacks against it and against human rights defenders engaged in realising the Court’s mandate to deliver accountability and justice.

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