Switzerland: Corporate SLAPP actions against human rights defenders must end to respect their right to freedom of expression

Amnesty International, along with members of civil society in the CASE coalition and Corporate Crimes Network, welcome the decision of the District Court of Bern-Mittelland to acquit the three individual authors of a report alleging that Kolmar Group AG (“Kolmar”) may have violated international law upon purchasing fuel from an international smuggling network at the height of the second Libyan civil war. Kolmar’s filing of criminal and civil action against these human rights defenders bears the hallmarks of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”) intended to silence critical voices. Following their acquittal today, Kolmar should stop inhibiting the right to freedom of expression of human rights defenders, including by not appealing the verdict and withdrawing a related civil lawsuit, the undersigned organizations said today.

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