Amnesty International Slams Switzerland For Its Treatment Of Palestinian Ngos


(MENAFN- Swissinfo) The Federal Council did not adequately justify its decision to cancel the contracts, Amnesty International announced on Tuesday. It had not explained which statements by the organisations concerned were considered hate speech under international law. However, this transparency would have been necessary.

According to the communiqué, the decision contradicts the priorities of Swiss foreign policy. This places the protection of those who defend human rights at the centre.

Last Wednesday, the Federal Council decided to end its cooperation with three Palestinian non-governmental organisations. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO) and Al-Shabaka/The Palestinian Policy Network are affected, as was announced in the days that followed.

"Non-compliant behaviour"

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said at a media conference last Wednesday that the decision was due to non-compliant behaviour regarding the code of conduct and contractual anti-discrimination clause.

The NGOs are contractually obliged to be careful with their communication, Cassis said last week. Switzerland's cooperation programme also had to be adapted due to the "turning point" on 7 October.

Following the Hamas massacres in southern Israel, the federal government inspected a total of six Palestinian and five Israeli non-governmental organisations that are partners of the Swiss Cooperation Programme for the Middle East. According to the authorities, no irregularities were found at eight organisations.

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